|Picture the scene.
There’s some issue in your work that you’ve identified. And it needs a solution to be identified. And then action is needed to implement that solution.
You’ve genuinely considered it – and you’ve arrived at a solid conclusion as to how to proceed.
But then someone on your team suggests an alternative. And, because you’re so confident in your own proposed solution, you’re let’s say – perhaps not fully open – to what they’re saying.
So you go with your opinion. Meanwhile, the other person feels like they haven’t been heard and, because they haven’t been persuaded by the merits of what you were saying, their cooperation with you isn’t going to be what it could or should be.
If you’re lucky enough to be married to someone whom you know deeply and respect hugely, you’re going to usually listen to them – because you know that what they say is of value. And because you know that mutual respect is one of the cornerstones of any (positive) lasting relationship.
In your work you engage a lot with people whom you’re not married to. They may look at things differently to you and still be correct! They can teach you. They can see things you can’t. And it’s not a zero-sum game; if you’re right it needn’t mean that they’re wrong.
And who knows? Maybe their idea, besides also being right, might also be better. And isn’t that what you’re striving for – to find and then implement the best solution for your organisation – independent of whose idea it is?
Being open is a trait of good leadership. And, thankfully, it’s a habit that can be learnt and cultivated. By all of us!
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