You’re the Boss: When Leaders Shouldn’t Ask for Advice

If only we had the good sense — and courage — to preface some of our statements with: “Ignore my opinion, please.” Far too often, we offer up or are subjected to opinions on issues about which we are ignorant, ill informed, or simply lack any substantive understanding.

Consider the current crop of nightly political television shows featuring one partisan pundit after another telling us what is right or wrong with the other parties’ actions. On rare occasion, a thoughtful voice adds clarity and insight regarding a complex, nuanced topic. However, too often the “cyclonic noise machine” roars with what seems to be a Mad Libbed prepared-this-regardless-of-what-topic-we-are-addressing-tonight response. Recognizing these shows are designed to be cage matches rather than educating viewers and communicating real information, perhaps this is excusable.

What might be the cost to your organization of allowing – and in many cases promoting – a meme of “every opinion counts”? There are plenty of topics for which someone’s uninformed opinion definitely should be ignored – and about which people should be discouraged from thinking they have something worthwhile to say. If that sounds like a recipe for dampening employee engagement, think again.

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