In case you missed it, I wanted to bring to the forefront of our attention a comment made by Not A Man United Fan on my recent post about Trust.

(By the way, I love that this reader has chosen a pseudonym for this comment. It both makes me feel like Dear Abby – never in a million years would I have predicted that association – and is poetic since the post is about trust!)

Trust is a tricky topic for sure. Too often we have the impression that we are passing our values and goals off to our teams but instead we come accross as non-trusting. Recently I was censored by a leader above me from speaking about a topic I thought was relevant to our leadership team. His concern was that we would digress from the values and goals of our organization. Is imposting a ‘no talk’ moratorium the appropriate way to keep us on the straight and narrow path of the organizational vision? How do we get our leader to respect our rights to expose ourselves to new and different ideas without having him worry that we are headed toward anarchy?

Of course, we don’t know the background on this situation, but it is an interesting and common dilemma, both for leaders and for followers, particularly when those followers have leadership responsibilities themselves.

Maybe I’ll frame the question just a bit differently: How can leaders encourage healthy debate while still moving action forward in a consistent direction? How do you practically involve people without ending up in a free for all?

What is the best attempt you’ve seen at doing this? Any takers? Try to be as behavioral and specific as possible so that we can really learn from each other.