If this question in absent from your conversations with others in your company or on your team, you should be concerned. If you’re not asking this question regularly in your discussions, conversations and dialogues with others, you’ve got work to do. What appears to be creeping into our culture – and business systems are not immune – is increasing fear of contradiction. The act of breaking the cycle of monologue, wherein leaders expend voluminous energy selling their ideas and leave little or no room for response, challenge and alternative thinking, is becoming increasingly difficult for those leaders. The degree of this difficulty is related to the degree of paralysis which exists in the system.
We discuss paralysis and gridlock in our book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006R5PXA4) and point to the Four Modes of Being; Anxious Absence, Anxious Presence, Non-anxious Absence and Non-anxious Presence (the preferred state of being) as a model which helps reflect and define states of anxiety where a leaders resides. Only in Non-anxious Presence – where leaders possess the courage to fully “show up” can the question “What do you think” be successfully asked.
If you’re not ready to fully hear what the other does think, don’t bother asking until you are.
Peace and Courage,