I was in conversation with a group of people who work with an organization which believes in assisting others to achieve breakthrough results.
During one of my conversations with one of the senior leaders of this organization, he asked of me information which didn’t seem relevant to what he and I were discussing. Not only that, the request landed on me in a way that, I considered, not courteous. I considered it impolite because the why was never explained nor how it was relevant to the achievement of the final result . Information was being asked of me without stating the why and no clear-cut information from their end was provided.
A rapport that was established, was shaken and somehow in my own mind, I felt the trust was broken. I decided to set aside my emotion and explained to him why I was uncomfortable giving that information at this stage. That didn’t get far because they decided not to continue the conversation with me. They stated that they had their ways of doing things and did not want to deviate from those set procedures or policies. Now, I knew what the real reason was but it seemed strange that this person stated that they did not want to go against their procedure. When the request was made there was no such background given. It was just asked without giving consideration to the sensitivity of the information that was being requested and that too at such an early stage. To me the humanity was missing, and in that, the trust was broken.
One of my clients was sharing with me about one of the conferences she had attended and how one of the speakers showed his vulnerability and some of the members of audience were critical of him.
When she mentioned the reaction of some people in the audience, I recollected an article on HBR about the dehumanization of leadership. I quote “Trust in business leadership is at historic lows, according to surveys by Edelman and the World Economic Forum. One reason might be what INSEAD professors Gianpiero and Jennifer Petriglieri call the “dehumanization of leadership”— that is, our tendency to think of leaders as either instrumental (pursuing a particular business goal) or heroic (pursuing a unique vision). In short, we want super-machines or super-humans, or both, at the top of our organizations, and many CEOs strive to meet those expectations. They’ve been trained to hide vulnerabilities, to plan and stay the course, to minimize risk, and to be consistent, level-headed, and in complete control at all times. Inevitably, however, they fall short.”
⇒Do you think being in a position of power automatically gives you the right to demand what you want without being courteous?
⇒What does it take in you to connect with somebody emotionally ?
⇒Do you as a leader forget to be human in order to be in complete control at all times?
What does it mean to be human?
1. Dare to say “I don’t know”
No leader is expected to know all things. Behave in a way that you can learn from others and that you rely on others to get the job done. You are not perfect nor somebody who is indefatigable.
2. Be courteous
Treat others as they would want to be treated.
Procedures and policies are important but don’t forget the necessity of human interaction and connection, if you want to make the former successful.feel upset, disappointed and be worried. And it is difficult to be inspired by someone who sticks to negativity and does not instill hope in their team. Being optimistic is key. Are you creating an environment of fear or trust and hope?
3. Be vulnerable and emotional
We are emotional beings and without emotions the relationship seems like a farce. You are able to connect with an individual better when they show their vulnerability because that shows their authentic self. Would you rather learn from someone who thinks they are perfect and can never commit a mistake or from someone who has learnt from mistakes and life’s challenges?
It is okay to feel upset, disappointed and be worried. And let that not be a mainstay of your life. t is difficult to be inspired by someone who sticks to negativity and does not instill hope in their team. Being optimistic is key. Are you creating an environment of fear OR trust and hope?
5. Command v/s Request
If you choose to ask somebody to deliver something, make sure it is a request and the person knows why that request is being made of them. No matter who you are, you have no right to demand information or make somebody feel threatened and insecure.
We live in a technologically advanced age and as humans, it is impossible to connect and establish trust, if you behave like a robot. Relationships are formed and happen when the connection with another person happens from the heart and you don’t give in to judgment or assumptions.
How are you connecting with people ?
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