We want to be heard. We also want and deserve respect. Managers can show respect for their employees by asking for their opinion as a way of engaging them in the process of finding the “right answer.” This is a great way to build and sustain trust among employees. After all, trust is based on mutual respect.
When someone asks our opinion, and we provide a reasonable and constructive point of view, we should receive an acknowledgement of our opinion. Giving an opinion that is based on firsthand experiences (and consistent with third-party data, if possible) is a sign of respect for the person who has asked our opinion. And, if our opinion is not the “right answer,” then the person, who asked for our opinion, should express their appreciation for our contribution and then explain why our opinion is not the “right answer.”
It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect that we will always have the “right answer.” However, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that our opinion will be acknowledged and appreciated. This will help ensure that we will be engaged in the ongoing process of working collaboratively to identify the challenges we face, understand their causes and implement the right answers to overcoming these challenges to achieve success.
Chris is Principal of Medici Consulting Services, Inc., a branding, marketing and communications consulting business. He has more than 25 years of professional experience, encompassing a diverse range of sectors and markets including government, health care, law, financial services, and energy.