Leadership is a practice and not an easy one.
As you move up in any organization, it requires far more intention and focus on your part. Most of the skills you need are to deal with the hidden or unhidden emotion of others. Understanding other people’s perspective will be your most valuable skill. You do not have to agree with them, you just need to acknowledge and appreciate their point of view.
Once this skill is developed you are capable of moving mountains based on your ability to listen, understand, and have each individual be heard and honored for their contribution.
Questions build understanding
To begin the practice of understanding requires you to move to “open ended” questions (and open-mindedness). Below is a small sampling of open ended questions:
- What are your ideas about the best way to accomplish this goal?
- You seem passionate about this topic – what do you think we absolutely need to do to move forward?
- I have not heard your thoughts on this topic and I am curious to understand your perspective?
- You seem unhappy with this (product, decision, idea, concept, rule, procedure, person, etc), given the situation what would be your recommendation?
- I am trying to help, and I am wondering what you are noticing in the situation that is causing concern?
- What do you see that is working in this situation and what do you think needs to be changed to make it even better?
When you understand and appreciate different perspectives it is easy to find collaborative solutions or adapt current practices. As you practice this skill, you will create an environment where teamwork and cooperation become the norm. There will be more ease in getting work done rather than struggling and the organization will benefit.