Most leaders understand that they should not jump in and DO. (That is the basic form of the exercise of restraint known as delegation and empowerment.) What leaders should also restrain themselves from is THINKING for their teams and direct reports. This latter lack of restraint is often not as obvious.

If you find yourself scratching your head and proposing too many solutions to your team, that is an indication that you have not fully restrained yourself from jumping in on an intellectual level. Instead pull back and ask about your team’s or direct report’s thinking on plans, options, observations, next steps, solutions, opportunities, risks, and/or strategies.  Two heads are better than one, but only if both are activated.