On my drive in today I was thinking about some recent events and rationalizing them with past experiences in management positions. Employees should always be asking their managers for something. That “something” changes over time and could range from “Can we get different coffee in the break room” to “Can I attend such-and-such training.” If you’re a manager, and you aren’t getting requests from your employees, you’re doing something wrong. But that’s a topic for another day.
When I get these inquiries, I choose one of the following responses based on the situation:
- Let me check on that for you
- Can we talk more about that so I can understand the need
No is never the first answer. I always do what I can to support folks I work with and no is only the answer after all options are exhausted. Does that mean I’m too soft? Perhaps. But it lets me sleep well at night.