Repeat after me, “I do not have all of the answers.” Come on say it, “I do not have all of the answers.” Now, do you believe it? If you want to be a great leader, acknowledge your inability to know everything. For all of us leaders it is important to recognize that this is an area of development that seldom gets discussed. Too often leaders make the mistake of forging ahead with their ideas without seeking the input of others and refusing to listen to feedback when given. Actions like these can alienate your team, result in low engagement and potentially kill a great idea.
The purpose of this post is to challenge you to think differently. Instead of perceiving those who challenge your ideas or initiatives as resistors to change, negative nellies, or trouble makers, try looking at them through a different lens. See them instead as people who really care for you, the company and the idea. In fact, be as bold as to seek them out and ask for their opinion. They may help you discover a huge miss that you were unable to see. It’s this type of collaboration that is necessary when being a true leader. If this is not something you have ever considered, then spend 13 minutes viewing a thought provoking TED talk by Margaret Heffernan entitled, “Dare to Disagree.” Heffernan introduces us to a new model of thinking which includes:
1. Find thinking partners, not echo chambers.
2. Seek out people with different backgrounds and thinking.
3. Embrace conflict.
I would love to hear your comments and engage in further conversation on this topic. Enjoy the video.
Elisa Hudson is an HR professional who is passionate about helping others gain perspective through a different lens. Her years of coaching managers through complex situations has allowed her to hone her skills for getting to the root cause and offering sound solutions. Elisa is an active member of Mentoring Women’s Network and serves on the national Project Lead committee. Elisa is currently working on getting to the root cause of why her ten year old son, Bing, continues to have a messy room and coaching him to be the boy she knows he is capable of being.