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.
#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:
- We don’t see ourselves. “… other people [are] twice as accurate at predicting strength and weaknesses as the individual.” Zenger/Folkman
- We devalue our strengths because they feel easy.
- Our inner critic beats us down.
3 simple steps to ignite growth by seeing strength:
- Begin with what they do well. Growth doesn’t have to be about fixing.
- Ask how they might take what they do well to a new level.
- Affirm progress.
3 questions that energize growth:
- You did a great job. How might you do more of that?
- You’ve accomplished a lot. What if you’re selling yourself short?
- 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?
Ends at 12:00 a.m. EST today (11/17/16)
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Dan, I just might never look at a wall the same, thank you. Ever wonder how many times a day we have positive thoughts about another and just do not communicate it. In our company we call them “positive withholds”. The process of thinking a positive thought and then willingly make the decision to not communicate it. We have opportunities each day to enrich people by making doors in walls – Dan, appreciate you!
Thanks Scott. Love your way of expressing “positive withholds”. I think it happens more than we think. You have my best!
Great lesson to be learned. A great leader should always look for the potential in followers and work towards bringing out what is on the inside. Great post.
Thanks esteem. Where do we get the idea that seeing lack of potential in others inspires them.
I have found that followers desire for the leader to acknowledge their gift -even help them to realize they have one.
“…We devalue our strengths because they feel easy…”
I’ve seen this as not merely a personal, individual issue, but become an institutional mindset, where the whole organisation devalues itself. It’s so destructive and dangerous!
Thanks Mitch. I hadn’t thought of that. I suppose, from an organizational point of view, we might devalue ourselves just like individuals. We compare ourselves to others. Perhaps lack of affirmation from others could cause an organization to think it’s not making a difference. Much appreciated