As I drove home after a long frustrating day, I tried to focus. What could I do something about and what were the root issues?
The list of issues made one of the root causes crystal clear. It was a lack of understanding. Emotions were high. No one was taking time to listen, understand and verify the facts vs. the opinions. So everything was accepted as real.
As leaders of our lives and our organizations, it is important to remember to practice active listening skills. Which means, we listen in silence with the sole purpose of understanding. It’s the only way to form an opinion and have any hope of moving forward.
Without your leadership, it will only perpetuate the cycle of listening as a pause to plan your reply. The net result creates a reality that doesn’t bring people together. It drives them apart and builds camps based on their perception of reality. And as time passes, it creates fear that shuts down curiosity across the organization to explore the issues and fully understand the situation. It becomes a wild fire of dysfunctional behavior.
Funny how the word listen and the word silent use the same 6 letters. And to do one, you need the other to see what’s real.
It takes your intentional leadership to actively demonstrate the process to help others gain a new perspective and allow them to differentiate between facts and opinions. And then keep their focus on the issue vs. personalize the issues to people which is always inflammatory. Some people will find it hard to move forward. Their personal reality has them stuck. So take extra time to bring them along.
In the end, the experience will bring a new perspective to help others evaluate their own process, their relationships and how they wish to spend their time. How did their emotions get the best of them and intefere with real progress? With practice, it builds strength, capability and capacity to embrace the next situation.
Practicing diligence in your process builds strength, capability and capacity for everyone. Focusing your leadership on the overall organization and what is important will be the winning formula in the end.
How do you listen and use silence to strengthen your ability to lead your life with intention?