As a leader understanding how you and your leadership style occurs to people is critical. You may find it meshes well with certain people while the same style is not as effective with others.
As a consultant, I act a change agent in the companies I work with and because of the nature of my work I understand that I cannot please everyone all the time. Recognizing that I am a change agent and some people resist change does not give me a free license to do anything I want though.
To become a stronger leader in this context, I learned it is important to ask myself the following questions every once in a while:
- How am I occurring to the people that are challenging me the most?
- How does my leadership style feed their resistance to change?
- Am I showing compassion in trying to understand their needs?
- What am I doing to change how I occur to them?
Often, I find the biggest challenge is the information gathering part of the process because I do not like speaking to people that I know do not like me and they will definitely tell me things I do not want to hear.
What makes those conversations possible for me is entering them with the following mindset:
- No matter what, it is not personal (even when it is)
- Part of their anger may not even be directed at me
- I will learn something useful about myself in the next thirty to sixty minutes
Having the conversations does not automatically make everything they say true but as a leader, the first step in changing how you occur is to discover and acknowledge your own shortcomings and do something to address them. Rumor has it this also makes you look more human.
As a leader, how do you occur to the people around you? Is that what you want? No? So what are you going to do about it?