Creating Alignment

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

As a leader, one of your biggest challenges is creating alignment. Getting everyone rowing in the same direction and in sync.

Everyday leaders use a variety strategies and tactics to influence and create alignment among their people. They cast vision, set values, create complex metrics… etc. All to create an environment where people will run, and hopefully in the direction they want.

Here is one strategy that you may want to consider. It’s called Listening.

Listening can be one of the most influential things a leader can do to gain influence.

Here is why.

A lot of times our personal energy, our thoughts, our emotions get in our own way. They keep us from being open and receptive to new ideas. This is true for leaders and followers.

We each have an ideal picture of how things should be but fall short in expressing it. We stiffen up, dig in our heels, take a stand… etc. We do whatever we have to do to protect our pride, our ego, or our agenda including resisting new ideas or obstructing someone else’s goals.

Then someone comes along and LISTENS. I mean GENUINELY LISTENS.

They give focused undivided attention.
They ask thoughtful and engaging questions.
They refrain from making any judgments.
They validate.
They show they can see things from our point of view.

Once someone listens at this level we no longer WANT what we thought we wanted. Often we see things from a very different perspective.

And the big one… we are much more open and receptive to ideas.

So, the next time you need to get people rowing together, start with listening.

If that doesn’t completely resolve your challenge. You will have a clearer picture of what you do need and a much more receptive group of people to work with.