Become the Person Who Stands Out From the Rest
“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” ― Abraham Lincoln
I just don’t get him… Why does she always…? Why doesn’t he ever…?
Have you ever finished one of these sentences in reference to a coworker? It’s ironic that we often say or think these things about others, and yet never consider that others may be thinking the same about us. When we can understand others, we develop the capacity to evaluate their strengths, preferences and attitudes accurately. When we “get” people, we become better leaders.
Do you make a genuine effort to know the people around you?
Skills and experience are important, but the person who can flex their leadership style to engage meaningfully with every person they encounter is invaluable. That person seeks to tap into each coworker’s value and brings out the best in others.
“When we understand people’s personality, we can give them what they need. This enables us to build trust, respect and long-lasting relationships…which ultimately converts into loyal clients. In fact, we can get along with just about anyone, when we know who they are and how they need to be treated.” – Hanny Lerner, “Become Successful By Understanding Peoples Personalities,” Forbes
Leaders who give of themselves, grow their influence—and their careers. People who cannot build long-lasting relationships won’t build or influence either.
How can you become this person in your organization?
To better understand the individuals in your organization, you’ll want to know them. If you foster a sense of curiosity and a willingness to listen more often than you speak, you can learn a great deal about others. Recognizing the value of diversity within any team will motivate you to identify each person’s uniqueness and how they can best contribute to the overall success of your organization.
Also, as leaders, we cannot take things personally. Everyone carries around some “baggage” from things going on in their life, and rather than reacting emotionally, a wise coworker will offer a generous dose of compassion to soothe over the sore spots.
Do we treat people the way they need to be treated, or the way we feel they should be treated?
Picture this scene for a moment: You’re in line for the security check at an airport, and someone behind you is grumbling about the line and muttering about the slow pace. As the person immediately ahead of him, you realize that people are moving as quickly as they can. When you reach for a bin for your belongings, you hear some frustrated words from behind: “Can you snap it up?”
What’s your first inclination? For most of us, it would be to hurl an insult or cast a glaring look. Imagine if you were to reply in a calm and gracious voice, “Here, go ahead, sir, take this bin. Do you need another one?” Suddenly a window of opportunity is opened for a release of tension and your genuine kindness that can even change his current state of mind. Instead of taking personal offense, a compassionate response understands what is needed and gives without expecting anything in return. Leaders who understand and evaluate others, grow their ability to impact positive results.
Be curious, be interested, be generous, be compassionate. Leave a mark wherever you go.