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Before You Speak, Remember the W.A.I.T. Acronym

It's important to ask yourself,

A core (and often under-appreciated) leadership skill is listening. You have to slow down and be self-aware about why you're talking. Here's a great reminder of the "WAIT" shorthand from my Merryck & Co. colleague Dave Goebel, who often shares this advice with senior executives. You'll find many gems of wisdom in here.

Q. What are some common themes that come up with the senior executives you advise?
A. Early on in the relationship, I often become the catalyst for one of them because I typically ask them if there’s anything that makes them afraid. Many of them talk about feeling a sense of anxiety about not wanting to disappoint their team. More recently, I’m also hearing a lot of concern about how they’re going to navigate the digital revolution that’s disrupting every industry.

Q. When they bring up their concern about their team, where do you go from there?
A. I’ll ask them about their cadence of communication and feedback. How much time do they schedule for dedicated one-on-one meetings over a typical month that about the professional and personal development of their direct reports, rather than strategy and operations. Frankly, people want nothing more than a dedicated one-on-one meeting when their leader is fully present for them.

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