See things from the other person's point of view
Don, plant superintendent for a apple chip processing company in Yakima, Washington, told Session 6B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"When we were given our "Pearl" assignment (a person we wanted to improve our relationship with) at Session 2 of the LDL, I thought of Salvador, our Processing Lead. He and I have had a good working relationship. The reason I thought of him was because I needed him to step up to increase and expand his role as a supervisor. As I reviewed his approach to problems, changes and initiatives, it occurred to me that I would help him feel more confident, self-reliant and independent if I could change my approach. I could see that if I changed my communication and leadership style from a direct and tell / command approach to a friendlier, more helpful, consultative approach, that this would help him take greater ownership of the success of our overall operation. Now when I handoff an assignment or tell him about a change in his area, I endeavor to explain the benefits along with the ramifications of his actions. I am giving him a lot more background on why we need to accomplish many of the changed and expanded tasks that have recently been given to his department.
"Over the past 4 weeks I have applied several of the 15 Leadership Principles, including walking in his moleskin, or in my case, getting out of my mental boots to #5 – See Their Point of View. This required that I actually take the time to #6 – Be An Active Listener. I began to actively push for and #8, Validate Their Ideas, and when he used ideas to move things forward, I lavishly used #4 – Provide Acknowledgement of his success. I have continuously offered
encouragement when he is trying to succeed and has obstacles to overcome, stumbling blocks that impede his chances of success.
"I can see the needed performance changes beginning to evolve within his crew. There's a greater emphasis on the attention to detail than there has been in the past. Some frustration is still there, but he has more successes than before. He and his crew have turned the corner. I believe he has a much better understanding of what changes he must make in his operation, and more importantly, why these changes are important. He seems to have taken ownership and accepted that it is his job to make these changes happen in his operation and crew.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is to evaluate my performance first, how I approach my team. Before I ask anyone else to change, I need to be sure I am willing to change. The action I call you to take as you work with your team to create the change needed for continuous improvement is to really look at the other person's point of view, see things from their angle, their perspective, 'walk in their boots.' The benefit you will gain is you will become a stronger leader and your results in all key result areas will continue to improve."
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