When Someone Asks Your Opinion, Give It

Whether your colleague is asking for input on a joint decision or a friend is simply curious about what kind of music you prefer, it’s common for people to intentionally withhold their opinions and preferences out of a desire to appear easygoing and cooperative. However, the authors’ research suggests that this approach can seriously backfire: Through a series of studies with more than 7,000 participants in a wide range of interpersonal situations, the authors found that failing to weigh in can actually make you seem less likable, ultimately harming both personal and workplace relationships. To address this common misconception, the authors suggest that managers should encourage and model healthy self-expression on their teams, both to improve their own relationships with colleagues across their organizations and to normalize the expression of personal preferences for employees who might otherwise be inclined to stay silent.

When someone asks for your…

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This article was written by Alixandra Barasch and originally published on hbr.org