I think many times we owe it to those following our leadership why something has to happen a certain way. Perhaps you’re new to a position… or, quite frankly, are just plain struggling where you are. You need “buy in” from those following you. Giving more “whys” could be a huge win for you.
First, it’s about respect.
Giving a reason why lets people know that you value and respect them as human beings. It also shows that you appreciate them for following your leadership. People always come first in leadership. Since your bit of information is most likely not more important than the people who follow you, show them respect by sharing with them information that could help to keep them bought in to your leadership.
Second, it’s about keeping morale high.
When you give people a reason, and they sense that you respect them for allowing them in on that info, team morale is less likely to plummet. They may not be thrilled with your decision, but if you have the relationship and respect, they’ll keep following you despite the circumstances. Also, model the attitude you want those following you to mirror. If you model high morale – under not so great circumstances – and give them a reason why, they’re more likely to mirror your attitude. It starts at the top.
Third, it’s about deflecting negativity.
As a camp director, whenever I have to give news that could potentially “rustle some feathers,” I always first set the expectation that our attitudes about the situation (mine included!) should honor the Lord. As a leader, deflect negativity by setting high expectations of how your team should respond to difficult situations.
Even when you give reasons, show respect and set high expectations, you’ll inevitably have people who still push back against you. I’m convinced, however, that the more genuine your leadership is, the less common this will be.
Lastly, I get that there are times when reasons just can’t be shared. I think this is most often the case when someone’s well-being is in jeopardy. If that is the case, you must respect that first and foremost. However, if you’re a leader who often gives the “whys” and you lead out of relationships, you’ll have less of a problem when those types of situations arise.
In my experience, people are very cooperative once they understand why you are taking a particular action—even if it will mean inconvenience or hardship for them. – Michael Hyatt