- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

‘What is in it for me?’ Don’t answer that for anybody

This is a question always  tempting leaders to give an answer. Eager to show that people will benefit, we spend time explaining: good for your development, good for your knowledge, good for you as a professional etc. If people could not figure out for themselves it may be not worth asking them to do anything!

Employees are not your kids.  If people in your teams, your groups, the organization, don’t see it, you are running a sad place in a poor state of affairs.

This is the script: If you can’t figure out for yourself

I can’t speak for you
The company is not going to tell you
Consider being somewhere else where you can find the answer

In my experience, ‘the question’ often exists more in then mind of the manager, worried about answering, having a ready made answer just in case,  than anywhere else. We have even a acronym, could you believe it? WIIFM. As in many other situations, we tend to extrapolate and elevate issues to the category of universal problems. Yes, perhaps we have had a few of those asking these questions. Perhaps we did struggle with an answer. But, perhaps, we were not strong enough to say: I don’t know, you tell me, I am not you

Giving a pair of glasses to people who are blind, can’t see, is not going to solve the problem. The most you can say, if you insist on a path of dialogue and answers may be:

I don’t know about you, but for me it is, etc.
Other people like you have found that doing X

But never give an answer that explains what you think the other person should see, but doesn’t.

Reflection and seeing can’t be outsourced.