A key barrier to being a People-Centered Leader is avoiding the hard stuff.
Recent data from my four-week People-Centered Leadership journey indicates we love to watch YouTube videos and download forms that might help us, but when we are asked to share information about ourselves with a team member using the Team Member Fact Sheet™, we skip that part – 100% of the time.
My intent in offering this People-Centered Leadership journey was to help people practice the habits that are foundational behaviors of People-Centered Leaders. The barriers to those key habits are familiar, and yet I have witnessed leaders that – with a little support – break through the barriers that go up when we interact differently with our people.
Here are a couple of quotes I will remember forever:
- “When I started asking them questions about themselves, they asked me – Why are you asking me this? The tone clearly communicated they were skeptical of my motives. I realized that as a leader I never get to know my people, so they are surprised when I show interest. It is going to take me some time to fix it, and I am committed to fixing it.”
- “We work right next to each other and have been doing it for five years, and yet some of the most basic information about them I do not know. Once I got past that initial feeling of shame, I was able to start the conversation. It was a great conversation.”
As the year end approaches, it’s a great time to focus on connecting with the people around you.
I think we can have some fun with this, so watch this space for more details about the People-Centered Leadership Challenge. It will be a chance to explore your own strengths, try some time-tested techniques, and qualify to win some great prizes. More to come. If you want to learn more about People-Centered Leadership, here is an explanation.
People-Centered Leaders: Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often!