We Only Ever Learn The Hard Way

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Words, teachers, books, and classes don’t teach, really. They are only aides. We can only learn through our own experience. That’s why, as leaders, telling doesn’t work but open-ended questions and faith in the other’s deep capacity do.   In your corner, Mike   Today’s photo credit: Mr.Tea April 25th – Ring Ring via photopin […]

Ask, Don’t Tell

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We

Tell me the answers, what I should do, what’s right, and you may get my grudging compliance. You certainly will be training me to distrust your motives and defend against your suggestions in the future. But, dear leader, ask me what I think, help me explore options and my own motivation, then set aside your opinions […]

Question Me, Please

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence

What is the difference between, “Do this,” and “How should we get this done?” Tell me something or tell/ask me to do something and I will likely resist. Ask me an open-ended question, and you’ve engaged me. This is true for all of us because we respond fundamentally differently when asked questions versus being given […]

Good Leaders Expose Rather Than Impose

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Do, Leading, We

Here is the fundamental conflict in leadership. People universally resist being told what to do. We, as leaders (with or without titles), feel we are on the hook so we regularly tell people what to do. We can try various tactics to disguise our “telling” and they will have many creative ways to resist. Regardless, […]


No One Wants To Be Told

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Leading, We

You can tell others, “Do this,” and receive something between reluctant compliance and outright resistance in return. No one wants to be told what to do. Or you can ask others, “How do we achieve this outcome?” You will receive in return their good ideas and engagement. In your corner, Mike   Today’s photo credit: […]


Statements and Questions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Thinking we have to be strong–or at least to look strong or to look like we know something–we make statements. We make our case. We argue. And we forget the power of good question. To see this phenomenon at its most dysfunctional, observe most any politician. Leaders (whether we have that title or not) use […]