Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Are you the smartest person in the room?

I am--if you don't count the cat. Seriously, I think I sort of suffer from wanting to be the smartest.

Art Petty, writes about this in Government Executive magazine, June 1, 2015.

This is considered a defect in a leader--always wanting to be smartest. It can stifle creativity, innovation, morale.

See if you do any of these things.

Do you always have to have the final word? Some "smartest" types think they must always fix things or have the answer. People shut up and wait for the word from on high.

You show impatience in your body language, eyerolls, fidgeting. Sometimes the "smarties" show disdain by interrupting.

Or maybe you do listen, then immediately trump a decent idea with what you consider a better one.

Okay, you are being a jerkwad. What can you do about it?

Ask more than tell, Petty says. Respond with questions, not curt sum-ups and your own ideas.

Have the courage to let others decide sometimes.

Look for the starting points in ideas, not the flaws.

But what if it's your boss being a jerkwad?

Don't argue, ask clarifying questions yourself.

If the boss isn't open to "constructive approaches," strengthen the boss's ideas. Maybe you can also bring up possible risks. These are negatives, so see how thick the ice is.

I try to take the advice of others more now than I did when I was younger--or at least consider it.

Maybe because I see how many things I decided--stubbornly--on my own did not work out as planned.

I even let the cat have a say...er, meow.

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