The Power of the Vent: A Leader's Greatest Asset

The sound of the tea kettle when the water is just boiling? Charming. The sound of that same kettle a mere 10 seconds later if left on the stove? Less charm, more rage-fueled-blood-curdle.

The distance between ready and over-ready is shorter than many of us realize.

And this same logic applies to our teams and their readiness to talk.

To date, our team has worked with numerous clients whose teams we’ve interviewed (individually or in groups) as part of our Activation program in order to solicit the most essential ideas that will enhance that team’s ability to deliver results.

And every client, without exception, has cautioned us with some version of the following: “Good luck getting them to talk – people tend not to speak up around here.”

And ultimately, do you want to guess what our actual biggest challenge is? [Spoiler: it’s NEVER getting them to speak up]. Our greatest challenge is containing people and all of their myriad ideas.

Leaders, hear me now. People and teams are so often existing at their boiling point. They are more than ready to be heard. They are desperate to be asked.

Too many leaders are fearful that opening the door will lead to nothing but a complaint session. And in truth, sometimes our teams do need a few minutes of that. They need to vent. But once a bit of steam has been released, there are valuable ideas big and small to emerge.

Related: Mircochanges That Clear Obstacles and Make Space for Teams to Contribute

The best ways to enhance the quality and efficiency of what your team delivers is to ask them for their suggestions. Afraid there are too many obstacles to their willingness to be # SuperCandid ? Don’t worry. We can help .

Feeling ready and inspired to lead the charge on your own, to ask the most important questions? Then download our free Team Activation Guide here for support and guidance through the process.

Once the questions are asked and the forum for dialog offered, we make no promises about what challenges they’ll express, ideas they’ll offer, or questions they’ll pose. But we do make one promise: just asking the questions and truly listening to what they have to say will elicit a “thank you” every single time.