opportunity for an easy solution?
The first question we should all ask ourselves is this. Do I really respect the opinions of others? Think about it honestly for a moment. Do we genuinely respect those we interact with each day? Our friends? Our colleagues? Members of our family? Our adversaries? Pondering this question briefly I find myself answering, "Yes.
Well, I think so. At least most of the time. Uh oh." Along the leadership journey it is imperative to face the facts about our own self. I am now wondering whether I am really listening to the opinions of others. Perhaps I have formed my opinion about what they are offering before a word has been spoken.
How then can we begin to respect the ideas and opinions of those closest to us in life? This is a question that we will spend a grievous amount of time covering along our journey. For now let us focus on the initial signals that we send out when confronted with ideas. Imagine for a moment with me that you have been approached by someone close to you regarding an issue in your life. Freeze. Literally. Do not make a move. Our initial behavior is critical in establishing an open environment for this discussion. It is nice that we can take the time now to imagine the consequences of our first reactions. How will some of the following affect the outcome of the discussion? Our facial expressions or lack there of? Eye contact or lack there of? Jittery arms, legs, or shoulders? What about the impact of the more subtle gestures? Crossed arms? Uninterested glances? Fiddling with an electronic device?
This sounds complex. Where can we start without feeling like giving up? Most advise to sit upright with open arms, wear a soft smile while leaning toward your companion nodding your head up and down as points are made. Sounds great. Sounds simple. Really though it will not be possible for us to engage in a conversation about ideas unless we first focus on our own self. Can we humble our self if even for only
a short while to respect one another? In the end even the most professional poker players find it difficult to hide their thoughts from expression via body language. Others will see right through most of us. I have found in my experience that the best method of initiating confrontation is with body language. Instead of trying to mimic the 'correct' respectful behavior like a bunch of robots, I propose that we truly humble our self and know that inside of every one of us exists the next great concept.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2012