Blogs by InnovatorsBox®


“How do I deal with the silence after I’ve asked my team members for their opinions or ideas? I’m trying to build a solid team environment and yet I find myself getting frustrated, and even angry, when they go silent on me.”

This is the dialogue I’m having with more entrepreneurs and leaders who want to build a good team. In theory, my friends have done everything right. They’ve hired great people, gave them thoughtful incentives, took their feedback to create an open space, and yet they are not seeing the results. They end each day frustrated and questioning their efforts:

“Why can’t they take a more pro-active step to solve this? Or step up?”

I totally get it. As an entrepreneur, I too have gone through this challenge. Its not something that is fixed simply by hiring different people.

Over time, I realized the solution was something else: It was to focus on the WHO.
Take a moment to think about your team.

* Why are they with you?
* What motivated them to join you?
* What value are they providing?
* When was the last time they shared a new idea and how did you respond to it?

They may not be sharing their ideas because they don’t have any at the moment, they’ve felt discouraged, or they don’t see things the way you do as the leader.

So just as we are asking them to bring value, from their point of view, they may be looking to you for clearer guidance and stronger leadership. They want you to help them see how the forest looks because they are focused on tackling the trees.

If we can empathize with what they are thinking, we’ll be able to do a better job building a team. This is certainly the core change that helped me build a stronger team—even though we’re small.

Here’s my challenge to you. Right now, I want you to commit to one thing you’ll do today that will help your team become more innovative and proactive. Respond to this email and let me know how it goes.

With love,

Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox

About the Author

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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