I have precious little time for the gazillion podcasts that interest me. There are countless numbers of desirable topics available that I just never listen to. I usually try to listen to them (along with my music) while at the gym, so I am capped at about 90 minutes a week to listen to them.
Andy was responding to a listener who acknowledged that he was the youngest and most inexperienced leader in the room. He was asking how to conduct himself in those moments. Andy gave him this great advice:
Never begin a question with “May I ask a question?” Just ask the question. If you ask for permission to ask the question, it reveals your underlying insecurities. And, people often use it to signal a prelude to conflict. They are basically telling you “get ready…I am going to hit you with a zinger!” You don’t want the other leaders in the room to become defensive before you even ask your question.
Then, Andy told him that – if he was unsure of himself when asking his question – that it was okay to write the question down and edit it until he felt it was ready. “Then, you should read the question from your notes. That doesn’t cause me to lose respect. Far from it. I respect a leader who works hard not to ‘wing it’ when asking questions.”
(Andy also told him to diligently take notes)
I have to confess that I often do that (asking for permission to ask a tough question). But it is always with someone that I have clear (or perceived) authority over. And, I want to have their permission to press in on an issue in their life. But, I don’t think I do that (ask for permission) with the leaders above me.
What do you think about that? Is it a good approach (to ask for permission) or should I just ask my question?
This stuff is pure gold. And it’s out there for you if you will go get it! Don’t waste time putting anything in your head that doesn’t help you grow as a leader and as a human being.
Thanks for listening.