Good Business Ethics: Draw Out the Wisdom in the Room

How can you amplify the voice of the unheard?


Brett Trapp, former executive vice president of client experience for Booster Enterprises, explains the importance of letting go of control and leveraging the knowledge and experience of those with whom you work. 

One of Brett's leadership principles is to "amplify the voice of the unheard." He adds that to build an open, dynamic organizational culture, leaders must create a safe and trustworthy environment that encourages people to speak their mind, offer suggestions, and give un-edited input—typically the most valuable input there is.

Watch this video and discover how to become more outward-facing, delegate ideation and draw out the wisdom in the room.

I'm learning that leadership is a lot to do with power and control, and when you see leadership go bad, it's typically someone who is abusing that power or abusing that control. So as I grow as a leader, I've been leading for about 10 years in a corporate environment now, I am learning that the higher that I go, the more success that I have, it is more important for me to learn to let go, to give up control, to give up that power, to delegate and trust people more. For me, that often comes in the form of asking questions.

A lot of times I see senior leaders who they just want to talk. They just want to air their opinion or their thoughts, and that's natural because they have a lot of expertise, they have a lot of knowledge and wisdom. But in that moment, where we're so wanting to give our opinion, to be able to, again, contain that inner narrative, pull back and ask a question, ask what somebody believes. Amplify the voice of the unheard is a principle I've been trying to practice, because a lot of times the people who talk the most don't always have the best ideas. They just talk the most. So oftentimes in a meeting I'm scanning the room, looking for someone who maybe, for whatever reason, is not speaking up, and I'll just simply say, "Hey, what do you think? Give me your thoughts. What do you think about that? Do you agree? Do you disagree?"

So often the job of a leader is draw out the wisdom in the room, and sometimes it's found in the unlikeliest of places or the quietest person. The thing that I would tell other leaders is the same thing that I tell myself, which is, "Brett, get over yourself." I mean, leadership by its nature is outward facing, and it's about others serving others, empowering others, giving power that we naturally would use for ourselves and using it for the good of either your team or your customer. So the quicker that we can again turn off the narrative in our head and get focused on serving others and really devalue and in some ways minimalize our own wants, our own needs, our own desires and get focused on others, the better leader that we'll be.

Brett Trapp

Brett Trapp is the former executive vice president of client experience for Booster Enterprises. Booster’s primary offering is the Boosterthon Fun Run, the preferred fitness fundraiser for America’s top schools. Boosterthon’s more tha...

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