How to frame your words to have a bigger impact

Leadership is a balancing act between guiding employees and giving them space to work autonomously. Each of us should strive daily to empower our team to handle their responsibilities – we hired them because of their capabilities, and we must reinforce that through our communications.

Leadership guru Dan Rockwell warns leaders who seem to have their day filled with responding to one-off issues that arise that something larger might be amiss. If this sounds like you, consider whether you are a problem-solver or an answer-giver.

Being a problem-solver isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I frequently encourage leaders to instill a sense of innovation and independence among employees so that they search for solutions to address problems head on. But that’s where Rockwell’s concerns lie: A leader shouldn’t devote his/her day to problem-solving. Leaders should be focused on the big picture and what opportunities are ripe to take advantage of.

An answer-giver, though, has a more negative connotation. It falls under that micromanagement umbrella where leaders are too eager to jump in with their opinion, rather than let their team recommend the best course of action. Great leaders develop employees to be resourceful and thoughtful when issues arise.


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