Do you give credit where it is due? Do you share a juicy bit of gossip to loosen up the meeting? Do you withhold information from some but give it to others? These are all the daily choices we make as managers and leaders but they can quickly lead to traps that make us ineffective as leaders.
Executive leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith recently wrote a great article about the common pitfalls of leadership, which are often rooted in faulty communication. Goldsmith explained how to discern between what to say and not to say. We liked the article because we believe the best kind of learning happens from asking questions, not just telling. Good questions are self-illuminating and help guide you toward the right decision.
Goldsmith says one great way to know if you should share information is to decide what’s appropriate. How do you decide? He says,”Appropriate information helps the other person; inappropriate information risks hurting someone. Discussing a rival company’s good fortune can be positive if it gets your people to work harder, but it’s inappropriate when it soils other people’s reputations.”
Now, the hardest point in all of this is being self aware and wanting to change your behavior. Successful leaders do that all the time, Goldsmith says. They know they won’t up the ante as a leader unless they change behavior that gets in the way of their own success. It’s how they get better as leaders.