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You Don't Need to Have All the Answers

Here's a little bit of good news for leaders.

If you are stressed by the constant pressures of having to answer everyone else's questions… if you are pressuring yourself to be right all the time… if you experience a constant urge to show what you know… Then this post is for you.

Take some relief in knowing that you do not have to have all the answers. In fact, your efforts to always be right and to always provide an answer may be hindering you as a leader.

When it comes to being highly experienced and knowledgeable, some leaders forget that there are two things more important than this.

The first is that leadership involves accessing information that others have and providing opportunities for others to learn. In other words, if you are too swift to give an answer you may not be making space for others’ answers. Step back and let others fill in the void.

The second is that you may have forgotten this cardinal rule: They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Instead of being knowledgeable about the facts and the job, become more knowledgeable about the people who work with you. Find ways to demonstrate your genuine care for them.

One example: instead of solving problems and answering questions, use those situations to create development opportunities that will help others learn and grow. Even when you know the answer, maybe you shouldn't readily provide it.

You don't need to have all the answers. But you do need to have a team that feels supported as you all work together to find the answers.

 CONNECT 2 Lead graphic smalThis blog post appears as the CONNECT! Community’s emphasis this month on sharing to connect with others. As a leader, giving and sharing with others humanizes you and helps others understand what matters to you. Be sure to subscribe to the CONNECT2Lead Blog for weekly tips and techniques on leading with a people first approach.