“When we choose for ourselves, we are far more committed to the outcome – by a factor of five to one.” This is from a Harvard Business Review article by Scott Keller (linked via the quote). He references a research project that had some participants pick their own lottery tickets and then ask if they would sell them versus others who had randomly picked numbers. Consistently, those that picked their own numbers asked for five times the price.
This is something I coach Managers on in motivating their teams and helping them grow. Do not make the choice for them or just give them the answer. It is so much more effective to let the team choose their own goals and work through a challenge rather than give them the solution. It is sometimes a challenge and requires patience and listening but in the end it will yield a lot more commitment and motivation from the team and they will probably come up with a better solution.
Think about a time when you really learned a big lesson; you had to go through some of the challenge and struggle in order to grow. The analogy I often share is of a young boy finding a cocoon with a butterfly struggling to emerge. He uses his pocket knife to slit open and free the butterfly but then it cannot fly because the wings were not yet completely formed. It needed to struggle for a while longer to fully develop. As a Coach, I am sometimes tempted to pull a client out before they are ready; knowing how to balance when to assist more versus letting them go through the experience is a key role of a good Coach and a good leader.
How are you owning your choices and motivating those around you with making their own choices and growing through their own experience?
photo credit via Flickr creative commons: PinkMoose