The Lost Leadership Skill
If you were asked about the characteristics you believe true leaders exemplify, what would be on that list? (Go ahead, take a few minutes and do that. I'll wait.)
OK, do you have a list in your mind? What's on your list?
Trustworthiness? Respect? Knowledge? Passion? Integrity? Confidence? Intelligence? Compassion? Inspiration?
Now before we get on to the one skill I think is really important, I ask you: do you consider yourself a leader? Do you exemplify those characteristics on your list? Are you hoping for those traits to be given to you by those you consider to be leaders but not ready to step into that role yourself? Just something to think about.
Now, onto the one skill I think could move us lightyears forward in our communication abilities and skills in anything we endeavor: the ability to listen first, and then to "get" each other. Listening is a skill we can certain improve through practice. But even beyond the ability to listen is the ability to examine our own intentions and go beyond listening to what people are saying to what they are communicating beyond the words.
True communication involves the ability to create dialogue - suspending previous assumptions in order to learn something from everyone. When we begin to step up our own leadership characteristics before expecting them in others (and add true "getting" to our own list), then I truly believe we will change the world.
Look at your list again. Which of those characteristics you're looking for in others are you willing to take on yourself? I like how Marcia Wieder says it in "Beyond the Secret": What is your WOW - something you can do Within One Week?
I'm developing my skill of "getting" other people this week. Not getting something from others, but getting others. There's a distinction.
I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday night Landmark Education session for my two amazing friends Kelly and Steve last night. Each of the participants was encouraged to take on two new ways of seeing the world based on what they had learned during the course. I'm taking on being charismatic which, according to their definition, is giving up "in order to" and trying to get somewhere; and also being peaceful, which is giving up the notion that "there's something wrong here."
If I'm really WITH the people I'm with this week, I'll begin to GET them. And that's deeper than just hearing them or even listening to them.
What would our businesses, our schools, our governments, and our churches be like if we all just practiced GETTING each other? Reminds me of a John Lennon song somehow ....