Often, as a manager, you’re expected to have all the answers. Every answer that’s needed, you’re expected to have it. Some managers want to know everything to cover all the bases to feel that they’re actually confident, and competent, and the right person for that role. Perhaps that’s a little bit overbearing on themselves as a standard, but think of it this way, as long as you know where to get the answer and how to get the answer, in most cases you’re going to survive the moment. But here’s the thing where you are wanting someone to make a decision and they’re sort of waiting for you to give them the answer knowing that if they stay quiet longer, you’ll give them the answer because you are the boss.
All you need to say is, “What are your thoughts on this? What do you think could be the answer or solution? I have mine. I’d really appreciate hearing yourself first.” What does this do? First of all, it messes with their brain in a very nice way. It’s saying, “I’m not going to give you every answer because you’re an adult. You’re paid, trusted, and expected to make decisions within boundaries for the organisation. Also, it demonstrates empathy you stepping into their world and inviting them. You’re not being a teacher. They’re not going to be the student. It’s a collaboration where I think one thing. You think another. Together, we could come up with an even better solution.
The question to ask is, “What are your thoughts? What do you think could be the answer or solution?” Then, when they’re giving it, you say, “Okay, well, that’s one thought.” Why would that be the case? Because, knowing what they’re thinking is one thing. Understanding why they’re thinking it, and what the underlying intention is, and underlying understanding is is where you get the real value. If they answer wrongly, say, “Okay, well, thanks for thinking about those. Because we’re regulated or because this system works this way, that wouldn’t be answer in this occasion. This is the answer, and this is why.”
Please don’t jump into giving answers straight, after straight, after straight, one after the other. It doesn’t help. Also, it would take more of your time, and as a manager, you’ve got lots of conflicting priorities and deadlines to meet. Surely, it’s a good thing to help people want to think for themselves and feel courageous and confident in doing so.