Meeting maybe the biggest Leadership challenge of not only this decade or century but potentially all time is the ability to work on
- The ability for leaders to listen
- The ability for leaders to ‘really’ share decision making
- The ability of those under management to find ways to break through
- The belief that people under management actually have something worthy to contribute
and this leads people into pre-emptive and group think, thinking and behaviours.
Consciously, subconsciously, and even almost unconsciously, capitulating to the person / people who have the authority is where too many followers go. It does ‘take two to tango*.’ In the dance there is the leader and the follower. In the dance if both do not do their part, if they don’t practice and learn from each other, there will be missteps! In business, the same is true BUT, if the follower doesn’t feel free to give the feedback, the lead dancer will probably find a new partner or lose the competition. The tricky balance between two partie. Additionally, in the dance it is important that both play their agreed parts on the dance floor but both must feel confident to give the other feedback; the follower to the lead and the lead to the follower – the same needs to apply to life generally, no less in business. The senior person needs to be more tha facilitator than the solution; this will engender trust and will gain more useful feedback and input.
“I have an open-door policy’ too often doesn’t flow through to “I have an open face / welcoming face’ and so the manager is content with having a policy that encourages while the demeanour doesn’t. “I am the manager, I am the solution’, ‘command and control’ is thinking and behaviour of the past. Today the thinking needs to be inclusive – “I am the facilitator not the solution.’
When embodied in deeds not just words, encouraging people into what this ‘post coronavirus’ really needs, the benefit of everyone thinking, everyone acting in concert with the agreed best outcomes, this magic can move mountains. BUT, the concept of “I am the facilitator not the solution” is a difficult one for many to actually adopt. So much of yesterday is about the manager is boss, the manager does the thinking, the delegating, the ‘brain power’ work. Others are there to do as they are directed. One client of mine spoke about a department manager who had camera’s set up in the homes of his team, now working from home due to virus restrictions, and had them report to it each day, sign and out when leaving their working space.
To help those who are not used to being heard, let alone asked, to take what can be seen as a risky step of not going along with the boss – group think – and to even consider saying what they actually think if it is divergent, is a big step of trust. They may have tried it before, the way they did it may not have been optimal, but the result is still fresh – a put down, a dismissive comment, a ‘you do what you do I do what I do ’sort of situation. To move from this to a ‘trust me’, ‘I do want to know what you think even if you don’t agree with me’ is the big challenge.
Under the ‘two to tango’ concept, equally it is necessary for people who have lost faith to have faith in themselves and experiment in ways to engage without threatening or being disrespectful or seeming to be so. There will be defensive thinking on both sides; someone has to take the ‘leadership’ route and that needn’t be the senior person. Read the deBono Six Thinking Hats* article in this section of the book to get a glimpse of how that might be achieved.
Without contrarian and intelligent disobedience thinking and actions, families and businesses will tend to fall back into previous thinking and behaviours. That will be a wasted opportunity.
Now is the time to look the future straight in the eye and move forward. Being brave and astute about changing one’s own thinking and then enabling that into those around. The de Bono Six Thinking Hats* allows you to take an impression of the person you are wanting to achieve a better relationship with and then use that when deciding your strategy to interact. As an example, if that person is ‘White Hat’, facts and figures, going to them with an idea that is creative is worse than useless, that will only close their mind off (open and closed minds*), go to them asking for help to form a budget to test out the validity of an idea, will open their mind and therefore their capacity.
Also resource the information on A L A L A* and habit thinking* and patterns* in the book.
*The book referred to is about to be published, in that, it works with business, individuals and families to make the best possibe outcomes.