The local Microsoft Technology Center has a mantra of “No guessing”…and I love it. All engagements start out with a level-set that in order for the effort to be successful, all assumptions must be validated and no concerns left unaddressed. I have really enjoyed this collaborative ‘mandate’. There is a level of efficiency AND effectiveness that comes with the removal of all the usual barriers.
However, this level productivity maturity only comes when people talk. “No guessing” is a theme that manifests itself through full transparency (and that means everyone). This means people need to speak up when they have doubts and when they disagree. And yes, as you can imagine, great listening skills are still valued, and needed.
I recently read a fascinating quote by Abraham Lincoln via a blog post by Simon Terry:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Unfortunately, many of us belong to a culture that still feels they cannot be seen as vulnerable. I see it every day…and I’m admitting…I fall victim too. We lie, exaggerate and cheat ourselves by making it appear as if we’ve got everything under control and aligned to a solid vision. In reality, we could all use some type of help. And especially when we are part of a team…ego is the antithesis to team.
Those people who ask questions and never let doubts or concerns fester often end up helping the entire team move forward faster toward its goals.