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Coaching Leadership Random Thoughts

Let me explain why that won’t work

I’ve had my share of “let me explain why that won’t work” when I started my career back in the early 2000s. And believe me, my default instinct was to punch people in their mouths. I’m glad I never acted on my impulse.

Not much has changed now. I still hear the statement now and then from peers, colleagues, acquaintances, friends, family, and loved ones. While not necessarily to me, but it isn’t delightful nonetheless. Do you know why? It doesn’t add any value to the conversation.

Most people, particularly leaders, resort to the “let me explain…” statement to establish their expertise or authority over someone else on a particular topic. And the worst part is that they may not necessarily be experts in anything the other person is saying! But they have to slip in their two cents as the chief adjudicator.

We often forget that our ability to say something doesn’t automatically translate to adding value or correct or useful. Which begs the question — what makes us share our negative thoughts when we aren’t asked to?

It’s a rhetoric question but one that warrants deeper reflection.