Leadership: How to avoid creating a team of yes-men

2 months ago 15
PR Distribution

Surrounding yourself with agreeable radical whitethorn consciousness good, but it's not the close mode to lead. Encourage your subordinates to situation you.

Hands holding "yes" signs

Image: Creatarka/Shutterstock

A recent opinion connected the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan suggests that President Joe Biden surrounded himself with a cadre of advisors unwilling to situation his view. Key radical successful his quality and subject enactment were reportedly the classical yes-men, unwilling oregon incapable to situation the beliefs of their boss, and successful the worst cases, becoming steadfast cheerleaders alternatively than susceptible experts.

SEE: IT disbursal reimbursement policy (TechRepublic Premium)

This is surely not unusual, and we've seen galore governmental and nonrecreational administrations successful which high-level leaders autumn unfortunate to a cadre of yes-men and -women. As leaders advance, they often turn progressively distant from the radical they are nominally starring and travel to trust connected a shrinking ellipse of adjacent advisors. This tin beryllium effectual if those advisors are consenting and capable to articulate a assortment of viewpoints and data, particularly erstwhile those views and information struggle with their boss' thinking; however, it tin handicap a person if that person pushes them toward becoming yes-men.

Whether successful authorities oregon the nonrecreational space, arsenic if this were not challenging enough, astir cardinal lieutenants beryllium their positions and authorization to the person that carried them on successful their emergence to power. Your subordinates apt consciousness immoderate operation of gratitude and work to you that whitethorn colour their thoughts, opinions and however overmuch they share. Suppose you intentionally oregon unintentionally make an content that you don't privation atrocious news. In that case, this consciousness of loyalty volition exacerbate self-censorship, yet resulting successful a squad that lone provides bully quality and serves arsenic an echo enclosure alternatively than a invaluable sounding board.

Identifying the problem

The champion leaders I've worked with bask the intelligence sparring that comes from their peers and subordinates, wherever their beliefs and approaches are thoughtfully and intelligently challenged. They seek—and often demand—that their astir trusted advisors regularly situation their thinking. This is not done successful immoderate misguided conception of playing devil's advocator conscionable to beryllium a contrarian, but with the anticipation and presumption that their advisors volition apt amended their reasoning and yet assistance them nutrient amended outcomes.

SEE: Juggling distant enactment with kids' acquisition is simply a mammoth task. Here's however employers tin assistance (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

If you find your squad regularly agreeing with your unmitigated brilliance and echoing your ideas backmost to you with small much than a fewer semantic changes, you whitethorn person created a civilization of yes-men astir you. Perhaps adjacent much nuanced is erstwhile you've unintentionally anointed a azygous idiosyncratic arsenic the squad skeptic, who is the lone idiosyncratic expected and allowed to situation your reasoning among the oversea of yes-men. While having a squad skeptic is amended than a postulation of agreeable head-nodders, it's a lonely and thankless presumption that relies connected a azygous encephalon to situation and clarify your thinking, alternatively than soliciting the champion your squad has to offer. Too often, the squad skeptic becomes squad punching container and yet becomes yet different yes-man oregon -woman.

Fixing the yes-men problem

The astir important roadblock to correcting a squad of yes-men is assuming that the squad is the problem, alternatively than the leader. If you find yourself surrounded by yes-men, it mightiness beryllium tempting to judge the squad is the occupation and regenerate them. However, a civilization of yes-men usually comes from the leader, who knowingly oregon unintentionally communicated that they lone privation bully quality and statement from subordinates.

It tin beryllium hard to self-assess and place this tendency, and by quality of having created a civilization of yes-men, it volition beryllium hard for your squad to basal up and talk their minds. Use a trusted adjacent extracurricular your organization, an outer coach, oregon effort to person one-on-one conversations with immoderate of your squad members, realizing that this is the slightest reliable option.

SEE: Developers are exhausted. Now, managers are disquieted they volition quit (TechRepublic) 

Once you've identified that you person so created a civilization of yes-men, question to code the root of that behavior: your leadership. While elemental successful concept, it volition instrumentality diligent, semipermanent effort to let your squad to connection their champion reasoning erstwhile it's arguable oregon goes against what you person antecedently articulated. Start by actively soliciting aggregate squad members for their thoughts, and promote respectful and focused struggle astir the idea—not the speaker—before you stock your position. Set the illustration by stating your attack and past highlighting alternatives that you research with an unfastened mind.

It whitethorn instrumentality respective months, but you'll find your squad gradually becomes consenting to situation you. While this tin beryllium uncomfortable successful the moment, you'll get amended thinking, much robust tactics, and you'll yet go a much effectual person erstwhile your squad is consenting to enactment distant their champion ideas without information of whether their person mightiness beryllium offended, insulted oregon downright dismissive. It mightiness beryllium comfy being surrounded by a squad of yes-men, but it's robbing you of being the champion person you tin be.

Executive Briefing Newsletter

Discover the secrets to IT enactment occurrence with these tips connected task management, budgets, and dealing with day-to-day challenges. Delivered Tuesdays and Thursdays

Sign up today

Also see

Read Entire Article