f*ck your 2 cents
let the builders build + stuff i read this week you might enjoy
I wanted to opine on everything at work. How something should be written or designed - if had a thought and we worked together - you’d hear it.
Or I would just redo your work. I obsessed over our results and I believed that by sharing my tweaks I was doing what is best for us at the time.
Looking back, I was often hurting us. I still do this, but I’ve been training myself to shut up more. F*ck my 2 cents!
Here’s why adding your 2 cents can hurt if you are a leader:
Disempowers the person doing the work. The person doing the actual work may no longer feel ownership over it. Let the builders build. Plus, this hurts morale.
Slows things down. First, reviews and edits take time. Second, leadership quips condition people that they need leadership approval. This is a problem at a start-up. No approvals or reviews should be needed for most things. Speed as an edge.
I might be wrong. The person who spent time on this writeup/design/idea thought through it AND they will be the one executing it. I have to be confident that my 2c actually add value and is not just an opinion. This is dangerous.
Takes away your energy from building. Energy is zero sum. If you are opining on everything, you are not focused on producing yourself.
There is nuance to this. First, all irreversible decisions need input. Second, if we are adding meaningful constructive improvements and not just an opinion - this can be fine. This is the difference between expert constructive feedback (good) and an opinion (can hurt). Last, relationship dynamics matter.
Stuff I read this week that you might enjoy:
There is a difference between constructive feedback and an opinion. This difference is larger if the opinion is coming from the person who is not an expert in the task and not the person who is doing the actual work.
Often leadership is sharing their POV just to leave a mark. These suggestions come late in the process, do not add value, slow things down, and validate the leader’s role on the team at the expense of the working team’s morale. We’ve all been there.