There is a phenomenon that is occurring that is worth noticing. And you can be a part of it.
People don’t learn well without conversation. When they talk about an idea, it is how they grow in self-awareness for the purpose of gaining greater situational awareness. The integration of knowledge into practice is now a goal. This is how we learn to be better decisions, solve the most difficult programs, and build teams of people who genuinely respect and trust each other.
We grow as persons and as leaders of impact when we talk with each other. We get better at the practice of living our lives, doing the work that we do, and actually achieving the goals that we set.
It is for this reason that I believe we need to carve out more time to talk, to converse, to interact, to learn from each other. Every conversation that I have never fails to give me something to think about that I find valuable and practical. This is why leaders need to be talking with each other. A few of us have a plan, and we’d like you to join us.
When did self-awareness become an obstacle in our lives?
After a quarter-century of consulting with organizations and coaching their leaders, I realized that it was the self-awareness of people that was a prime hurdle to fulfilling potential, creating impact, and leading people.
Let’s look into this.
WHAT IS SELF-AWARENESS?
Self-awareness is knowing who you are within the context of your life situations.
There are two sides to self-awareness. One is knowing who we are as persons. The other is understanding the situations that we are in. Self-awareness and situational awareness are indelibly intertwined.
Self-awareness is being aware of who we are, who we can become, what our potential is, and, maybe more importantly, who we are not. This is particularly true in a time where social media has the power to mold people into persons that their friends and family do not recognize.
Whether you are a small business person or a corporate executive, getting the best work out of your people is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. It takes more than attractive compensation packages and inspirational pep talks. It takes creating a culture of trust that unites people together around a common desire to give their best. Here are five steps any leader can take to build a relationship of trust with their team.
Add to the mix the shift from in the office to a hybrid structure where they are working from home some days, at the office other days, and whether this arrangement will remain or continue to change.
When people solve their own problems, they also gain skills in communication, collaboration, and innovation. All are leadership skills that everyone needs to acquire regardless of the position that they have in the organization. What, then, is the impact of this approach to leadership. In simple terms, it moves an organization from being leadership starved to being leader-rich. More definitively, it decentralizes the capacity of an organization to solve its problems. I saw this effect in an organization that I served many years ago. Small problems flowed up through the hierarchy to the vice-president’s desk. By then a problem had turned into an issue between the company and the union. When the company implemented a program to train and support all their employees in practicing these leadership skills, the trust level in the company grew, ultimately gaining the awareness of Forbes magazine in their annual list of most trustworthy companies. This is the potential that results from elevating the leadership capacity of people.
The stresses and strains of operating a business have grown considerably over the past twenty years. One of the outcomes is the changing role of leadership. Throughout history, a leader was thought of as a person of influence. What is influence? Really. What is it? How do you measure it? Is this a perspective that will serve us well as a global community with an uncertain future?
When I first came up with the idea of the Circle of Impact two decades ago, I was responding to the patterns of behavior that I saw in people and organizations. In a real sense, their problems originated in the way they thought, the way they related to people, and the way they organized their world.
Out of that perception came the notion that there are three aspects of our lives – ideas, relationships, and structure – that represent the connective tissue of who we are and the world that surrounds us. I called them, The Three Dimensions of Leadership. At that time, I did not actually know how they were connected. I just knew they were. I could see it. It took many years to fully understand how fundamental a perspective I had discovered.