Ever had someone ask a question, and after you answer them they rephrase the same question? … Or how about when someone asks the same question more than one way even though the answer is teh same anyway it is asked?… Well, you get my point.
While this can be annoying in conversation, it can be downright devastating in leadership. While there can be a time and purpose for a question rephrase (next post) it is too often just a way of trying to bypass the answer to get what is desired. Children do this to parents often when they don’t like the answer. Leaders do this too when the answer is difficult or reveals the need for serious change or adjustment.
Rephrasing the question never changes reality. Reality can be harsh. It can force us to face things that at times are painful. It can cause us to have to give extra effort and confront issues or even people. Once truth is known, once the answer is the there, we need to respond and deal with the reality head-on.
Stalling, denying, ignoring, or trying to bypass reality always leads to bad things in leadership. The end result is worse then the suspected outcome of properly addressing the situation, circumstance, or person.
As leaders, we must ask the questions that get the answers we need, not just the ones we want. Once we have those, we must respond with wisdom and follow through.