Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Careers & Workplace
  3. Workplace Culture

Leadership Lessons: Ask…. Don’t Tell

See also

Danielle was known as a splitter. She constantly complained about several of her colleagues to anyone who would listen, including the woman who dusted the offices and emptied the wastebaskets.

More Photos

It was finally time for her to face the music. She was creating a toxic environment and everyone had their shields up and weapons ready. Trust was down the toilet.

It was a crappy place to work.

Finally David, the team manager decided enough was enough and called for a truce in the form of a meeting between the rivals.

It was awful.

Why? Because David did not have the skill to create a DIALOGUE. Rather, it was a DEBATE. In a debate there is a winner and a loser, which is the form a debate must take. It means squaring off with facts and figures and challenging the other to get him or her into a corner. NOT GOOD for long term relationships.

So I got a call to facilitate.

I had to do pre-calls before we would meet with each of the offended parties and that included Danielle.

GUESS what I found?

Danielle did not have a clue that she was spewing so much venom at work. She was so used to spilling her guts when upset it was just a natural and easy way for her to get through the day. She told me that when she feels attacked she talks and talks and talks.

Danielle was shocked that there was so much animosity and that she was the cause. “Why didn’t David just tell me?” she asked.

I suggested she tell the team what she had told me and then ask David why he had remained silent.

I suggested that each of the 7 team members come up with open ended questions, you know the “how, when, what” kinds of questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” response.

That is called DIALOGUE.

When tensions are high at work take a deep breath and ASK…. DON’T TELL.



  • ESPYS party
    Athletes and celebrities hit the red carpet at Body at the ESPYS party
    Today's Buzz
  • Healthy balance
    Keeping a healthy balance is so important for your own well-being
    15 Photos
  • Apollo
    NASA observes 45th anniversary of Apollo 11: One giant leap for mankind
    14 Photos
  • Unique jewelry
    Nothing catches the eye or completes and outfit like a great piece of jewelry
    12 Photos
  • Student Farmworker Alliance
    Student-Farmworker Alliance launches 'Boot the Braids' web site
    15 Photos
  • Exercise
    Find out why you should exercise to compliment your diet
    10 Photos