How to Move the Agenda Forward and Make People Feel Powerful

Power encourages blabbing.

The leader who talks the most has the most power. The person at the top tends to monopolize time, ask fewer questions, and frequently interrupt.


Who has the power?

You want your team to feel powerful. But when you do all the talking, you encourage compliance.

Get your team talking to each other if you want them to feel powerful.

Marie wisely comments:

The person who talks the most has the most power. If you want your team to feel powerful, listen to them talk.” – this is a fine line.

I agree leaders need to listen to their employees talk, but there is also a time they need to speak up, shut a conversation down, and make a decision.

Sometimes leaders spend too much time letting the conversations go on.

My expanded response:

Marie, you write the truth. It’s frustrating when leaders listen too much and don’t make appropriate decisions or give needed direction.

Generally speaking, I know more leaders who could listen more. (But the problem of over-listening and under-deciding is real.)

Regarding conversations that go on too long:

Marie, your insight is a useful reminder. For example, it can be useful to interrupt a conversation and ask, “Can anyone think of a reason we can’t make a decision right now?”

If someone says, “I’m not comfortable making the decision right now,” create an opportunity for them to talk.

  1. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you need to be to move forward?” Suppose they say 6. The next question…
  2. “Where are you right now, on a scale of 1 to 10?” Suppose they say 4. The next question…
  3. “What might help you get to a 6?” This question gives directions to conversations and prevents unnecessary chatter.

If you want your team to feel powerful, create opportunities for them to them talk.

How much listening is too much?

How might leaders create interactions where others do more of the talking?