Tom Peters recently blogged about his summary of important viewpoints in business. Some good reading.
At the center is to simply ask the question "What do you think?" Regularly.
I've been trying this, intentionally, for a couple of months now. It's kind of amazing. Folks appreciate it. If you ask the question correctly.
Think about it...there are four ways to ask this simple question. Your tone of voice makes all the difference. Say these out loud:
- WHAT do you think?
- What DO you think?
- What do YOU think?
- What do you THINK?
Only the third version has the hope of being sincere. The others can be quite demeaning or condescending.
Yet, with the emphasis on the "you", followed by good listening and exploratory questions, it becomes an open door and a welcoming set of inputs from alternate views.
Try it...let me know what you learn.