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Navigating the HIPPO Effect: Empowering Teams and Balancing Leadership

Navigating the HIPPO Effect: Empowering Teams and Balancing Leadership

It was not long after I became a manager for the first time. We had a big project ahead of us, so we organised a kick-off meeting. It was a good meeting. We quickly went over the schedule; the decisions have been made.

The project manager asked all questions, which were answered mainly by me. We took notes. Action points were ready and distributed. I was pleased with myself. Everything seemed to be smooth and going in the right direction.

Then, I got my 1-on-1 with my leader. He asked me, "what could you do better in that kick-off meeting?"
Better?? Could I be quicker? Could I answer all questions in advance? Could we avoid meeting at all? Could I drive it via email? It was all wrong answers.

That day I learnt about the HIPPO effect and how I harmed my team rather than helping them to grow. Something that, as a manager, should always be my priority number one. I just wanted to help… But there is a dichotomy there…

Plan for today:

Understanding the HIPPO Effect 🦛

The HIPPO effect, an acronym for the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion, is a phenomenon that prevails in decision-making scenarios. It suggests that the opinion of the most highly compensated individual carries greater weight, regardless of the validity of their input or the collaborative insights shared by the team.

Counteracting the HIPPO Effect 🫷

To navigate the intricacies of the HIPPO effect, teams can employ a range of strategies. Anonymous idea submission can be a powerful tool, allowing ideas to be evaluated purely based on their merit, without any influence from the source. 

Fostering an environment that encourages dissenting opinions can also counteract the gravitational pull of the HIPPO effect, ensuring that decisions are influenced by the content of the ideas, not the titles of the contributors. 

Furthermore, it’s crucial to acknowledge the role of organizational culture. Cultures that prioritize open communication and inclusivity create an environment where the HIPPO effect’s influence is mitigated, fostering a more dynamic and productive decision-making process.

How to Mitigate HIPPO Effect 📝

Our goal is to serve with our experience, but on the other hand, we want to develop the team and people individually, encouraging them to take responsibility. I try to ask additional questions when I see the need to add something from myself:

  • Do you need help?
  • Who is responsible for this project?
  • What other proposals have already been made?

If I think there is a need for the team to get to know my opinion, then by offering your option, it is worth “softening” it and indicating the intentions:

  • End with a statement that this is your opinion, which should be treated on an equal footing with others
  • Ask for a counter-offer
  • End with the statement, “but I’m not as close to the problem as you are, so treat my opinion/advice as one of many to be verified.”

🚀 🎙️ Check out more info on how to be aware of HIPPO Effect in remote work environment, the team culture impact and more: The HIPPO Effect and dichotomy of leadership

Productivity Frameworks: Getting Things Done ✅

“You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool your own mind.”
~David Allen

The Getting Things Done (GTD) approach, developed by David Allen, offers leaders a potent productivity framework. At its core, GTD aids in decluttering the mind and bolstering focus, fostering better productivity by systematically organizing tasks and commitments.

The method’s central premise is straightforward: by capturing and categorizing all responsibilities, ideas, and tasks, leaders can create mental space for more effective decision-making and priority management.

📌 Key Concepts of GTD:

GTD rests on key principles that structure its effectiveness. “Capture” involves consistently collecting tasks and ideas into a trusted system, whether digital or physical. Subsequently, “clarify” prompts leaders to break these items into actionable steps aligned with goals. These tasks are then organized into categories such as “Next Actions” or “Projects.”

The essence of GTD lies in the concept of “Next Actions.” By transforming goals into tangible steps, leaders surmount the hurdle of indecision. The “Weekly Review” is pivotal—a dedicated time to reflect, update task lists, and ensure nothing is overlooked. These practices collectively empower leaders to maintain clarity, manage stress, and navigate their roles adeptly.

📌 Benefits and Impact:

The GTD method furnishes leaders with several advantages. By externalizing tasks, GTD sharpens focus on critical matters, heightening productivity. Its systematic approach prevents crucial details from slipping through the cracks. Regular reviews cultivate proactive thinking, enabling leaders to make informed choices in evolving circumstances.

🎓 The Getting Things Done (GTD) method is a dynamic asset for leaders aiming to elevate productivity. Capturing, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing tasks empower leaders to efficiently manage responsibilities. GTD not only addresses immediate challenges but also provides a framework for long-term success. As leaders integrate GTD, they adeptly navigate their roles, sustaining control and accomplishment.

🤓 Tips & Tricks

Open last closed Tab 🔄

Have you ever closed the wrong tab and navigated straight to history to check what was it? There we go! There is a shortcut to open the lastly closed tab.

Command (or Cmd) ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + T

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