If you are like me, when I have a bright idea I want others to love it. Similarly, you might also enjoy partaking in a brainstorm meeting and love it even more when your ideas are accepted. When someone says “yes” to my thoughts and ideas it makes me feel valued.

We all like to hear the word “yes” when we ask for something, or give a input in a discussion. Of course not every idea I have is brilliant. Not every suggestion I make is worth acting on.  Brainstorm Cloud

The problem arises when someone in a leadership position uses their ability to say “no” as a way to take control, as if no one can do anything unless they say so.

For them the word “yes” is a gift only they can give.

If leadership is influence, then we must rise above the power that comes from granting wishes and move towards bring lasting change. 

As a leader, a boss, a supervisor or project manager you have been given responsibility over people and tasks, with many decisions Included along the way.

Our mindset should change from how to poke holes in a request to how can I grant this request? This is a process of empowerment.

Every day people are looking to you for something. You may receive requests for money, resources, your thoughts or ideas, or a plan of action. These are moments when you have the power to say “no, let’s slow down” or “yes, move straight ahead!” or somewhere in between.

This kind of power is like a cheap drug. It’s easy to get high while doing nothing of significance.

When a positional leader flexes their power to gain control through decision making, they aren’t really leading their team. They may actually be getting in the way.

When a leader does this they discourage and demoralize their team, and also block creativity.

We should always look for the yes where we can.

Let’s look for a way to say yes to someone’s request and encourage them. Saying yes doesn’t mean every bad idea or request is let through.

This type of mental shift causes us to change how we respond to those that come to us.

We can still ask for change, improvements or tweaks, and still say yes.

We can still be an encouragement while not compromising the mission or vision.

When we take the time to hear someone out, highlight the areas that are working and ask for clarification or improvement, we are affirming their work and effort.

When we can, we should say yes to someone’s request. If it is in our power to do so, we should look to fulfill their request. Say yes and help implement this decision.

How might this slight shift of looking for the “yes” encourage those we work with?


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