Great leaders seem to always have a set of values upon which they rely when making decisions. These values are a barometer for them – If I make decision A, my company will be more profitable but we will violate one or more of our key values in doing so. I believe great leaders don’t abandon their values, even when they require more work, less profit or more stress.
These values or guiding principles can also cause leaders to form opinions about certain issues or even people. Sometimes, it becomes easy for leaders to confuse their opinions (which are based on observations masquerading as facts) with actual facts. In other words, some leaders are so confident in themselves and their abilities that they may think (or give other people the perception) that they are always “right”.
As a leader and as a person, I suffer from this challenge.
I read an interesting article today about this very subject.
My takeaways –
- I need to learn to distinguish between facts and opinions or assessments.
- When communicating opinions or assessments, do more listening than talking.
- Remember that opinions can’t be true or false, right or wrong. They are just that, opinion.
- People don’t like to be told they are wrong – avoid that when communicating opinions or assessments.
I really loved the last sentence of the article, “True humility is, at least in part, being able to see one’s own assessments as assessments, rather than believing them to be truths”.
I want to be a humble and compassionate leader. Sometimes I am. I’m going to try to remember these takeaways in my daily life – both personal and business. Perhaps if I do, I can have better, clearer communications with my employees, customers, friends and family leading to a happier, more productive and successful lives for all.