Question #2: What/who did I make better today?

A little retrospective never hurt anyone, right?

As a new leader, I try to be a little more conscience of how I interact with people on my team, other leaders and individuals I deal with on a daily basis. To add a little more complexity to the situation, the team is very diverse and spans four different locations throughout the United States. Without visual clues, what I type and say is even more important.

I’m far from perfect, but I do believe in the “treat others like you want to be treated.” Most people want to be treated with respect, appreciated for their work and made to feel included. Here are things that have worked for me. I use them to break free from casting blame or just complaining.

Take a break

I usually start by taking a walk outside. Being outside really helps me to re-center myself and is one really good method for taking yourself and your emotions out of the situation. This is where I really attempt to evaluate the situation objectively. Perhaps reviewing an email in my head and trying to reframe what the sender wrote. Going through the possibilities of what could have been meant helps me to realize that I may be jumping to conclusions. Perhaps the next course of action is a quick call to the individual to have a discussion. This could then avoid a misunderstanding altogether and keep the cohesion of the team moving forward.

Talk with a friend

Another method I use is to discuss the situation with a friend. An outside point of view has changed my viewpoint many times. Perhaps that individual who pushes his point at every opportunity just lacks confidence so tries to cover it up with words. Or perhaps my position was one that he wanted which he didn’t get. Whatever the situation, getting an unbiased opinion can be extremely valuable.

Having an empathic personality

I think I’ve always been someone who truly and deeply cared for other people. It’s one of the main reasons I think that I am a natural leader. I feel a sense of responsibility and accountability to the people who work, trust and sacrifice their personal time for me.

Its hard when you join new teams though (which I’ve been doing every few years). It takes time for people to trust you and to want to follow your lead. It takes showing you genuinely care and will look out for their best interests. Its not a entitled type of leadership, but a voluntary type.

Making something/someone better

There is a small transition going on at my workplace. It is happening slowly but as members of my team are affected, it causes everyone a small pause. What does it all really mean? Can I continue to do my job? What does the future hold as this transition happens?

At my level, it is more about making sure each individual feels like the are heard, that the concerns they bring up are being handled and that they are still part of the team. Hopefully, I had this small influence on my team today. Change is always happening, all we can control is our reaction to it.

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