One critical difference between we human beings and tractors, combines, etc. is that each of us is very unique. We are born with certain tendencies and natural reactions. You may well have completed leadership and/or personality profiles to better understand your tendencies and natural reactions.
As we mature, we learn that our natural tendencies, reactions, and behaviors do not always serve us well. We learn to react thoughtfully rather than instinctively. Managers who are naturally very controlling (coercive and authoritative leadership styles) learn that there are times when listening and coaching are more important than their natural reactions. Managers whose instinctive reaction is to lead only or mainly by example (pacesetting leadership style) learn that they first need to teach, coach, and engage their employees.
This Month’s Quote
“… when you become a leader, you give up the your right to think of yourself first.”
John Maxwell in the Forward to Servant Leadership in Action: How You Can Achieve Great Relationships and Results edited by Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell
In busy times make certain your are not falling into this trap of reverting to overusing your natural tendencies, reactions, and behaviors. Two suggestions. First, take the time frequently to reflect back on your interactions with people to determine that you have not fallen into this trap. Second, focus on using our oft discussed listening tactic of pausing a second or two before responding. This will provide the time for a more thoughtful less instinctive response.
Bob Milligan is a dairy consultant with Dairy Strategies. This article appears in the May issue of his Learning Edge newsletter and is used here with permission. Bob can be contacted at [email protected] and by phone at 651.647.0495.