Critical self awareness filters for leaders
I have created a new category on my blog, this post more than any other so far is a “note to self” as much as a message for anyone else.
Does the scenario sound familiar? – you’re in a review meeting with peers, junior staff and maybe your own boss and you find yourself sifting for what’s wrong, inconsistent, vague in what’s being shown to you – you’ve become aggressively contrarian? I am afraid to say it happens more often than I like and what drives me is the need to be the smartest person in the room – or more truthfully – my insecurity that there are people who think otherwise and I have to show them how mighty and fearsome my intellect is – laughable!
My daemons aside though, I also know that precision questioning, mining for conflict, testing for integrity are all important functions of the reviewer to move the business forward against it’s priorities – so what can we use to gut check?
I suggest these internal filters can help –
- how do I feel? If I’m angry or frustrated – ring an alarm. Deal with the cause and filter the need to feel better by contrarian poking. If it all feels good, healthy debate – the room is engaged and not intimidated – keep going.
- is this a priority? closely associated with the foundational advice “pick your battles”; pounding on a nit for the cerebral workout can prove a pyric victory – however, bringing focus to a priority is always worth the effort.
- Who has a better view of this? it might be a better tactic to pull in a subject matter expert to drill on a specific. Offers growth and opportunity to the SME you bring in here as well as leaving you the room to gracefully side step an unhelpful confrontation
- Don’t ask questions when you mean to make a statement! posing an opinion “wouldn’t you agree with me that the current fiscal deficit is a disgrace?” is such a passive aggressive, weasel way to operate. Grow a pair and speak with conviction
These aren’t rules – it’s a checklist, a mental holding to account of how I want to be impactful as a leader and not as a bully.
Go! start now