How Skillful Leaders Build Doors in Walls

What’s so inviting about seeing weakness in others?

Leaders who see strength in others build doors in walls.


From part 1: 12 ways to ignite and maximize growth in others

#1. Speak directly to the heart.

#2. Point out where people don’t serve themselves well.

#3. Provide opportunity to reflect.

#4. Come along side gently after failure.

Part 2:

#5. See strength in others.

Seeing weakness drains passion for growth.

Yesterday, during a meeting, Nicole explained how she prepared Kristina to fill in for an absent teammate. She told Kristina, “You got this. Don’t tell anyone you’re filling in. Just be yourself.”

Later in the same meeting, on a different topic, Nicole said, “I don’t feel like a leader.”

I turned to Nicole and said, “What you did with Kristina was very leaderly. Kristina did the best job she has ever done.” Tom, who sat across from Nicole, chimed his assent.

Nicole said, “I have to write this down in my book.” (I saw a tiny smile, even though we aren’t allowed to enjoy success.)

Why seeing strength in others ignites growth:

  1. We don’t see ourselves. “… other people [are] twice as accurate at predicting strength and weaknesses as the individual.” Zenger/Folkman
  2. We devalue our strengths because they feel easy.
  3. Our inner critic beats us down.

3 simple steps to ignite growth by seeing strength:

  1. Begin with what they do well. Growth doesn’t have to be about fixing.
  2. Ask how they might take what they do well to a new level.
  3. Affirm progress.

3 questions that energize growth:

  1. You did a great job. How might you do more of that?
  2. You’ve accomplished a lot. What if you’re selling yourself short?
  3. How might you bring your strength to a new situation?

You’ve had people fixing you all your life. Try a new approach.

How might leaders ignite growth by seeing strength in others?

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