show your work

By: Todd Elliott
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Remember when you were in math class, and your teacher would take points off your test if you didn’t show your work…where your answer came from? You couldn’t just write the answer down, he wanted to see your tough process and how you got there. It was a way for him to know that you understand the material.

When we lead with the answer “No”, we are not showing our work. For people who don’t generally understand the world of production, you are keeping them in the dark by not explaining how you got to “No”. Part of what keeps us from sharing all the details is that we assume one of two extremes: that most of it is over people’s heads or they already know how impossible their idea is and they are asking for it anyway. My guess is the truth is somewhere in between.

When I am working with my kids on homework, and pushing them to show their work, they usually get defensive about how much they know about the subject and that they shouldn’t have to show how they got the answer. But without the details, I’m not totally sure they understand the concepts.

How often is my knee-jerk reaction to someone’s ideas because I’m defensive about showing my work? What if they think I don’t know what I’m talking about? What if I don’t know what I’m talking about? While opening yourself up to someone critiquing your thought processes, you are also giving them a glimpse into what is involved in executing their idea.

Many times, the only way an idea is going to happen is if you and your team execute it. And the way the body of Christ is designed to work, each person has their role to play. You are the expert in what it takes to pull off ideas, so don’t be defensive to show your work.


 

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