Working on others is a joy. After all, they need so much help. The need to fix others can, however, blind you to yourself. To effectively influence others you need a meaningful connection, but your own arrogance puts a wall between you and the people on your team.
The toughest thing about connecting with others is the demand it makes on you. Disconnected leaders focus on changing others when the more important issue is how you need to change. Real relationships are fulfilling but also messy and dangerous. It’s easier to distance oneself, in the short-term, from the team than to make connections.
Think more about changing yourself and less about changing others.
You need to change when:
- You repeatedly complain about others.
- No one is good enough, except you.
- Your first thought is how others need to change.
The gift of making connections is that they change you, and not necessarily that you change others.
Disconnection blinds you.
- You can think that you have the best ideas on the team because you don’t share information, create context, leverage strengths, or communicate vision.
- You can think that you’re the hardest working person on the team because you don’t know what others are doing.
- You can think that you’re the smartest person on the team because you don’t know what others are thinking.
Make connections, considering:
- What do you hope to achieve?
- What makes you proud?
- Where are you getting the best results?
- What have you recently learned?
- How has what you learned changed the way you interact with others?
- Can you see how the tension you feel with others stems from yourself?
- How might you share your shortcomings in ways that strengthen connection?