Monday, April 18, 2011

Self-Leadership

It’s been a difficult day. Small piles of misunderstandings are now big mountains of miscommunication and fractured friendships. Sigh! Why can’t life be easier?
My usual way is to take things head on but I know through my work in emotional intelligence that people will hold on tighter to their view and opinion if you try to push your view. Therefore a more subtle approach is needed and I sometimes struggle with subtle. Sometimes I know that the best thing to do is to do nothing, at least for awhile.
When someone has a strong opinion we literally need to give them time to rewire their mind and make a new connection. They need space to make that happen.
In David Rock’s book “Quiet Leadership” he talks about 6 steps to transforming performance. I’ve found that they help me to understand and work with difficult situations.
The first step is to think about the other persons thinking. It’s not about what they are thinking but why they are thinking that way. Ask: Why am I thinking the way I am? Why are they?
 Once you figure out why someone is thinking in a certain way get focused on solutions and see things from a high level. What is the best possible outcome you envision? It might seem obvious that we need to focus on the solution and not the problem but it’s surprising what little time is spent on the solution when emotions are high. Focusing on the problem keeps us rooted in the past and in the negative blame spiral.
Speak with a generosity of spirit and communicate with intention to find a resolution. Be willing to stretch. Stretching to a place that isn’t comfortable is often where we find resolution and growth. Are you willing to go to a place of discomfort and stretch your opinions and beliefs? What positives can you pull out of the situation? In my case, both my friend and I were focused on improving an organization although our perspectives were different.
See what insights you can find to help you both going forward. Once you are aware of the thinking, reflect and illuminate. It is in the illumination where you will find the motivation to resolve the dilemma.

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