An excerpt from SmartBlog on Leadership
Locksmiths, you work with people all day long – customers, employees, co-workers, etc. Just because you may be out on the job all day, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t understand the person you are interacting with that day. This should help you out on the job!
You should work hard to get better at understanding others, because it will improve your relationships and your ability to lead. Some thoughts on how to start:
- Observe: Understanding others requires your attention and a stillness that is in contrast to our high-tech, fast-paced and distracting world. You can observe glimpses of what others value and what motivates them by using all of you to gently watch them. Who frustrates you? Who do you misunderstand or want to get to know better? Observe them without judging.
- Engage all of you: Using your senses is a great place to begin as you pay attention to others. See their body language, listen to their words, feel the emotion. Notice your reactions — how do you respond to the other person, and where do you feel this response? Is it a balanced response (or all negative or positive)? What might you be missing? There is a great richness in encouraging ourselves to dig beneath the surface of first impressions that can often create great allies out of those we thought we couldn’t tolerate.
- Check your assumptions: Nobody is made up of pure evil or pure goodness. We all have depth and layers below the surface. We’re intricate. We aren’t what you think we are. Ask some questions of the other person about your assumptions, and stay open to surprise. Our assumptions are often wrong. The best leaders are willing to be mistaken about the conclusions they’ve made about another person.
- Keep it up: Continue this disciplined way of paying attention to others as a way of understanding them. However, don’t expect to be able to control or predict their behavior based on what you observe. Everyone does things that are unexpected. Isn’t that great? The world would be a pretty boring place if people always acted as we expected them to. The richness of human behavior is to be celebrated, not put into a box with a label.