We discussed the Zen story of the monk two episodes back, which demonstrated the way your actions elicit the behavior of the people around you and the way you experience life. So if you play the role of a supervisor (as opposed to a manager) and just tell people what to do, they’re just going to do what you say.
But is that really who you want working for you? Is that really how you want to behave yourself? Great managers crave people who take ownership over their job, and most people also crave that agency in their lives.
When you ask great questions, you make people think. When you make people think, they become more responsible. When they become more responsible, they do a better job. Alternatively, when you tell people what to do, they become order-takers and think less. When they think less, they become less responsible. When they become less responsible, they do a worse job. This is the difference between managing and supervising.
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