A leader who dismisses employee questions with "You just don't understand." is actively eroding trust. As leaders, there are times where we cannot share all the details of a situation for different reasons, including confidentiality, privacy, security, legal and so on. However, the job of a leader is to instill trust in their team. This statement does the exact opposite.
Here's how you fix that ...
Don't dismiss. Explain. Good leaders build trust.
If an employee does not understand the circumstances, it is better to say "You would understand if I was at liberty to share all the details." This statement, unlike the first one, treats the employee like the competent, intelligent, person that you hired them to be. It respects them.
Even better? Actually help your employees understand. Most of the issues that employees take "exception" with have to do with "why" something is the way it is, and you are free to explain. THIS is a GIFT to you. Their questions are literally revealing YOUR communication gaps. Don't believe explaining is not a priority. Every time you do, you win the trust of your people and trust creates motivation.
Your people are intelligent. If you can't legally explain then state so. People, as it ends up, actually DO understand.
What leader inspired YOU?
Feel free to tag someone whose leadership has inspired you in the comments section below!
Looking for more small business help?
The best way for a leader to keep their passion is to ignite it in others.
I read this great article in Fast Company about how this CEO who had never fired anyone.
He used a tool called Career Leader to help his staff discover their interests and motivations. I was hooked and immediately started using this tool on my own team.
The results have been remarkable. We have discovered untapped skills and potential right within our own team.
Here's what happened ...
It's pretty simple. If you decide to value and respect your people above ALL else, you will have a thriving and healthy culture because you will attract talented people.
Not all of them will stay with you.
At InspireHUB, we empower people that have future dreams that don't necessarily include us. Here's why attracting talent that might not stay can still be a win.
Here's what I learned about empowering talent that might leave.