When you hear or read, do you spend more energy on how to understand or how to label the content? One way of determining if you are a leader is whether you listen more to learn or to judge. When your mind is trying to understand, it is open to all kinds of possibilities. You are trying to make connections with the new information to the information you already hold in your brain. This allows for many new pathways for the information to go. It’s the route of knowledge. If you are labeling, you are making a decision, often quickly, to dismiss new information or hold onto it. You are not processing for further use. While one is an open-door approach, the other is a closed-door approach. Which would you rather be – a leader or a judge?
Although not an exclusive issue among young leaders, I’ve noticed a growing trend among younger professionals who make a conscious choice when reading, watching or hearing, to limit their view of information to a single moment, an emoji, or a phrase which forms a self-contained bubble. Skimming the surface, they then rush to make a judgement about it. Good, bad, right or wrong. And it becomes personal. Whoever said, wrote or did are good, bad, right or wrong. These young professionals are missing the big picture, perspective, and details. It is an incomplete view which potentially hurts their decision making, their team/department, and themselves. Does this sound familiar? Has this been impacting you, your company or team?
Look how far you’ve come. Without mistakes in your past, you couldn’t have the history to bring you to where you are today. You understand humans are imperfect. That’s why we are continual students. When we make mistakes, we learn more – than from doing something right the first time. From failing, we grow and stretch and challenge ourselves. When you make a mistake, would you prefer someone with compassion teach you where you went wrong so you don’t repeat the same thing twice, and you learn? How about when the tables are turned, would you also be as compassionate?