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Seek the Opinion of Others

December 27, 2018

Seek the Opinion of Others

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.

—Proverbs 15:22

One of the most powerful things a Christian leader can do in the workplace is to ask someone for his or her opinion. Asking a co-worker to weigh in on a subject sounds like a fairly simple and straightforward aspect of leading people; doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the question-asking technique often gets lost in the heat of workplace battles. We can get so focused on “getting it right” with the projects that we’re working on and making sure the boss is happy that we often overpower our employees, followers, or co-workers with what we think is the best course of action. We let our experience, tenure, title, and pride interfere with one of the most basic tenets of management and human relations. Seeking the opinions of others is another way we can offer sacrifice in the workplace. It shows humility, deference to others, team-building, and much more.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the effects of diligently and systematically seeking the opinions of other people while at work. In doing so, we substantiate the wisdom and relevance of God’s Word found in the book of Proverbs.

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Prov. 11:14)

Brings decision-making context

What better way to fill in the gaps of workplace knowledge and decision-making than to seek the opinions and counsel of others. Each one of us has a unique road that God has mapped out for us here on Earth. Our experiences in life, intellectual capacity, family background, job rotations, and reading habits all give us varied perspectives and context. While all believers should have a Biblical worldview, the ways we experience culture, make decisions, and live out our faith are not exact carbon-copies of one another. God is molding us into His image with different trials, tribulations, and life experiences. That is precisely the beauty and wisdom of seeking the opinion of others. Diversity of thought will help to frame the context needed to make sound decisions at work. Leaders of healthy organizations want to end up with the best decisions possible. Purposes will be established (see Prov. 15:22) when you seek the opinions and counsel of others. By doing this, you will foster the democratization of decision-making and flatten the organizational hierarchy while making quicker and more-informed decisions.

Builds confidence

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a genuine request for counsel in the workplace will undoubtedly agree that it helps build confidence. As I think back to my corporate experiences, when executives would ask my opinion, I was honored for the opportunity to contribute. While rigorous debate would often ensue before a final decision was rendered, these opportunities helped to build my confidence and to establish credibility.

Supplies recognition and reward

Picture any workplace scenario where an employee is in a meeting with a group of his or her peers. The boss asks for their specific opinion and counsel on a topic. Perhaps, the boss may even have led into the question by acknowledging the employee’s level of expertise and competence in a certain area of business. How would that make you feel? This makes one feel appreciated and valued.

Recognition and reward can take many forms beyond the monetary aspect of why we come to work every day. Earnestly seeking the opinion of others will create one of the highest forms of recognition available in the workplace.

Elevates knowledge base

Inherent in the verse listed above is an understanding that discussion, debate, and logical (Bible-based) sequences of thought will be taken and analyzed. Thoughtful consideration for various alternative courses of action will be evaluated. When one has multiple people counseling him or her, there will be differences of opinion that can help the person to learn and grow. Everyone wins when there is diversity of opinion and thought. 

Builds teamwork

Question-asking is an integral part of team-building. Asking for and expecting workplace contribution helps others to feel like valued parts of the team. When each team member is asked to share his or her insight and knowledge on a particular issue of business, this helps with building the cohesiveness needed for maximum efficiency. In the long-term, that cohesiveness leads to trust and the teamwork necessary to get things done.

Produces better results

When leaders seek the opinions of others, results improve. The old saying, “Two heads are better than one,” certainly applies. Going alone is never the right thing to do. Seeking diverse counsel, context, expertise, and insight will put one in a position to make good decisions. When we string together enough good decisions, good results will follow.

Christ uses mankind to build His Church. He gives each of us who know Him as Savior a common vision to seek Him and praise His name. He designed a way forward that uses the collective strengths of diverse human beings. This is the same approach that leaders in the workplace need to use. When we seek the opinions of others, we break down the walls of isolation so everyone can contribute.


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