Have you ever had someone that works for you ask you for a meeting? …Try to share a concern with you? …Or passionately try to share an idea?
How do you react when that happens?
Have you ever considered that they are bringing you a gift?
- The person that is coming has chosen to take a risk and invest in you and in the organization.
- No matter what their title is – they have knowledge and experiences that you don’t have.
- No matter what their role is – they see things in your organization that you don’t see.
~ Thank them for their courage.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill
They may not know how to present to you in the style that you are most comfortable.
- They may not know your DiSC profile, your learning style, or use the same business terms that you use.
- They may be so nervous that the words get twisted up when they speak to you.
- Know that underneath their passion, there is also knowledge.
~ Dig deeper. Listen closer. Seek to understand.
They may not be skilled at presenting what is so clear in their minds.
- They may only state the problem – even though they can visualize possible solutions.
~ Ask questions that help them think and articulate instead of a hitting them with a fire hose.
To receive their gift – You need to be humble and curious. (Not defensive.)
- If you’ve never served in their position – it means admitting what you don’t know.
~ Ask clarifying questions, have them to draw on a whiteboard, or give you a tour…
- If you choose not to meet with them.
- If you blow off their courage.
- If you don’t listen to the message underneath the delivery.
- And if you let your pride get in the way.
You not only throw away the gift, you risk damaging your leadership and the growth of your organization.
- Minimum damage – If they feel like you don’t value their time and effort they may never try again.
- Moderate damage – They no longer believe you are worth investing in.
- Escalating damage – They commiserate with others that have experienced the same thing from you. And negativity spreads.
- Crushing damage – Your organization experiences a crisis, and they have the answers that could have grown your organization, but now it is too late.
Image credits: iStock
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