I was watching an excerpt of an interview with Lebron James recently where he spoke about losing last years NBA finals was the worst experience of his career. He said that experience he was able to turn into a positive situation by ensuring he grew from that experience.
Are athletes the only ones who can draw strength from setbacks and have those negative situations become catalysts for positive future outcomes? It can be argued that each of us as individuals and as leaders can turn negative situations into positives, we just need to listen and understand how those situations came to be.
It is easy for leaders to want to “tell”, but the best leaders allow their teams to “experience”. It is our leadership responsibility to guide people through developing their own experiences, so they can be stronger performers and leaders in the future.
As in the case of an athlete, a coach can preach to a multi million dollar athlete all day, however, it is not until the inexperienced player becomes a seasoned and mature veteran that they really understand and respect the coaching they received early in their careers. This is why many young, but talented players never are able to win a championship, and why many talented young professionals never reach their full potential.
Spend more time over the course of the next week listening to your teams, and less time directing. Hear what they have to say, and they will begin to hear more of what you have to say. Listen to be heard.
Allowing for experiences is a process. Allow the process to naturally occur, within a pre-defined framework of established feedback opportunities. That feedback should be equally provided and needs to allow for a free flow of ideas based upon the experiences obtained since the last feedback opportunity. Remember, to listen in order to be heard.
Have a great week…