To succeed as a leader, you have to be open to input. It’s critical that you make yourself approachable, and that you listen to feedback.
Why? It’s the only way to know the truth. The opposite is being convinced you’re right. But the problem with that is it keeps you from checking if you’re really right.
You will always react to the world as you perceive it and not as it really is. However, the more open you are to information, ideas and criticism, the closer your perception will be to the actual truth. And the closer those two things are, the better your decisions will be. Which will build credibility and trust with your team.
Here are a couple of good habits to follow. First, frequently ask people, “Where do I have it wrong?” Actually invite and encourage them to point out your errors. The earlier and more frequently you do this, the better.
Second, create a culture of fact-checking. “We believe X to be true, but someone check it.” How many widgets an hour does that line really make? Is that restaurant really open for lunch on Tuesdays? What is our turnover rate really?
These two things will go a long way toward turning your team from a bunch of yes-people into truth-hunters. And regardless of what you eventually do, it’s always best to know the truth.