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What would you like to do?

By Mike Klockenbrink

Staff: Can you help me? I don’t know what to do.

You: What do you need help with?

Staff: Here’s the situation.

You: OK, so what is it that you need from me?

Staff: I need you to tell me what to do.

This is where it gets fun. I find that most people already know the answer they’re looking for. So if they already know the answer, what’s stopping them from moving forward?

It could be a multitude of different things. So let’s look at some of the more common reasons.

  • They’re not qualified or trained in a particular area.
  • They just want you to make the decision in case something goes wrong.
  • They want your seal of approval first.
  • They’re afraid, of failing, making the wrong decision or letting you down.

Usually the last thing people want to hear from you when they’re looking for an answer is more questions.

I believe it’s important to get them outside their comfort zone. Every time they do, the zone widens.

So let’s try this again.

You: OK, so what is it that you need from me?

Staff: I need you to tell me what to do.

You: What do you think needs to be done?

Staff: Answer #1

You: If you do that, what do you think will happen?

Staff: Answer #2

You: What’s stopping you from doing that?

Staff: Nothing

You: Then do it. Good job!

The reality is that some people just need to be trained on going through the question process. What if they make the right decision? Win – Win for everyone. What if they make the wrong decision? It’s still a win. Most people learn from their mistakes. My motto is: Fail fast, fix it and move on. Every time they make a decision whether it’s right of wrong and learn from it, their comfort zone just widened.

What would you like your staff to do? Depend on you for the answer or make a decision? I choose to get them in their zone and let them make the decisions.

Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church, Folsom, CA.
[ www.lakesidechurch.com]

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