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No. 759 / Method of coaching/persuasion

An ineffective manager will consider it a waste of time to let you work for the answers. They don’t have the patience to ask the right questions so that you are guided to the best answer. So they share everything they know on the subject, expecting you to be able to apply that knowledge in multiple situations. Then they get frustrated when you aren’t able to execute.

Effective leaders will let you struggle, ponder, and mull things over in your head. They know how crucial this process is for the future benefit of not only your work, but your career. Even if it means moving slower in the beginning, they know that it’s worth the upfront investment. So they poke, prod, and guide you with questions in the right direction, then empower you to take care of the rest.

This Socratic method of teaching people something important isn’t just a productive way to help others learn quickly, it also happens to be a potent form of persuasion. People naturally have a hard time being told what to do. But if you let them “independently” figure things out, they are more likely to take ownership over the idea and produce better results.