April 30, 2018
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In October 2017, a news report about White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders having defended statements made by John Kelly. The report cited her as having:

. . . defended White House chief of staff John Kelly Friday after he made erroneous claims about a Democratic congresswoman the day before.

Sanders told reporters it was "highly inappropriate" to debate the chief of staff over his statement, given that he is a retired four-star Marine general.

"If you want to go after General Kelly, that is up to you," she said. "If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that is something highly inappropriate.

The reportage continued by noting:

After her comments about the propriety of contesting Kelly's statements caused a stir, Sanders said in an email comment to CNN: "Of course everyone can be questioned. But after witnessing General Kelly's heartfelt and somber account, we should all be able to agree that impugning his credibility on how best to honor fallen heroes is not appropriate.

Some people saw this press briefing as a matter of politics and closed their minds to the statements and arguments as part of what they no longer wanted to hear. However, the political arena is merely the larger and more public stage of what happens in any business office anywhere. To say a leader should not be questioned means their conduct is above reproach and they can do whatever they want, be it ethical, responsible, reasonable, or otherwise.

Actually, leaders should definitely be questioned. Sometimes they’re on the wrong path or making poor choices without guidance or advisement. It’s important to question flawed decisions or at least get to the heart of the basis of the determination in order to better follow through on the instructions or persuade the leader into taking a different, better course. 

Although things have changed to a small degree, the manager’s word in evaluations is still gospel. It isn’t questioned; there’s no probing to ascertain why a decision, especially a negative one, was made or communicated. There is still infrequent investigation with regard to whether additional training was implemented nor whether there was clear and understandable feedback provided. It’s just another stack of documentation that goes into a file that’s kept in a secure place. 

Somewhere in our past the term "<a href="http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pushback">pushback</a>" was coined. It’s the practice of questioning or challenging something when the logic doesn’t hold water on first blush. Synonyms are "question" and "scrutinize." Some directions and situations are so logical that there’s no doubt about the matter and the facts, on their face should be accepted. Other things deserve evaluation in order to be certain the best option is being executed. The same goes for statements and actions of leaders. They are mere humans, subject to being fallible. 

Ask questions; get answers; be clear about what’s at hand.


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Source: HR.com Articles

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