Employee commitment deepens when they can say, ‘I did it my way’
  • leadership
  • Blog post

Employee commitment deepens when they can say, ‘I did it my way’

When you have a solution to a problem your employees are facing, you should just tell them what to do, right?

Not necessarily.

There are times when you may want to let people figure things out for themselves – because they feel way more committed to an idea they’ve had. (Even if you had it first!)

Sticking to their own idea
A famous experiment proved this point: Half the participants were assigned a lottery number while half wrote down a number of their choice on a blank ticket. Just before the winning number was drawn, the researchers offered to buy back the tickets. Over many repetitions of the experiment, these ticket holders demanded an average of five times as much to sell the numbers they’d chosen, compared with those who’d received random numbers.

Get it? People get really attached to the choices they make on their own.

When information must be imparted rapidly – to meet a deadline, for instance – by all means go ahead and explain what people need to know. But otherwise, try to make time for them to hash things out on their own. You can always adjust their conclusions slightly afterward.

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