Think back earlier in your career up until today. When are the times when you are most engaged in your work? Is it when you are following through on ideas and instruction from the top? Or is it when you are thoroughly informed and sharing your ideas with leadership? I’ll bet it’s the latter. While structure (e.g. hierarchy, rules spoken and unspoken, etc.) is vitally important to running a business and managing effective teams for many obvious reasons, sometimes structure overreaches and discounts the power of an employee’s agency.
Feedback is an important mechanism for opening a manager’s mind and removing blinders. Yet with many teams, feedback is given and received softly, rarely, and late. It should not be an act of courage to share frequent and candid feedback. How can you start to create such an environment? Ask, wait for an answer, act, and give. Over time, trust will build.