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Ta-Don't: Avoiding Big Surprises

The grand reveal. Where the covers are dramatically pulled off and gasps ripples across the crowd. Sometimes a sound of joy. Other times, not so much. Whether good or bad, the unknown always adds a touch of drama to it all.    

While the "Ta-Da" moment is great TV, it's not so great for the workplace. Quite the opposite, it's a sign of failed communication and a lack of teamwork. 

When leading an initiative, its best to keep folks involved early and often. The cadence and level of detail will vary, but erring on the side of over-communication is a good starting point while you gauge what's appropriate.   

Keeping folks in the loop reduces the risk of expectations diverging. Maintaining aim at the same target.

Transparency opens the floor for constructive feedback. Unique skills and perspectives will remain untapped in a silo. In addition to the sense of ownership and accountability of others. 

The need for perfection is a common culprit for the big reveal. Be comfortable sharing drafts and works in progress. Open yourself up to feedback, bring the team closer together, and avoid the anxiety of a "Ta-Da" moment. Save the suspense for TV. 


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In school, we listen to our teachers. At home, our parents. Throughout our childhood, following instructions is praised and rewarded. When we're young, there's value in this. We don't understand how the world works quite yet, so guidance can be lifesaving.  The bias to just accept obviously has drawbacks. Insert old jumping off a bridge adage .  This conditioning is especially strong for kids from lower income households. Their parents are more likely in working class jobs involving strict order-taking. Parents of middle-class households tend to be knowledge workers where influence is essential.  Studies have shown kids from middle-income households are more willing to negotiable with their teachers. They learn from their parents that things are not set in stone. This leads to better grades and learning outcomes when compared to their lower income counterparts who don't negotiable.  In business, if we simply accept things as they are, we would never innovate. In work, w