The average leader will manage a team, work with the same individuals, yet hardly know anything about them! These leaders have never prioritized acquainting themselves with the dreams, thoughts, hopes, opinions, and values of those they lead. Conversely, the best leaders are readers of people. They have the intuitive ability to understand others and often discern how they feel; they recognize what their people sense.
One obstacle to getting to know people is leaders overestimate the amount of time and effort needed to get to know someone. In fact, in only one hour in private a conversation, one could ask three questions and find the passion of one’s life:
Three Life-Revealing Questions:
1. What Do You Dream About?
A person's dreams are powerful revealers of passion. When a person starts to talk about their dreams they begin to open up many times you can feel excitement in their words.
2. What Do You Cry About?
Passion can be uncovered by peering into the hurts deep inside a human soul. The experience of pain or loss is a formidably motivating force. Listening to a story of grief, hearing a voice thick with emotion, and witnessing watery eyes flooded with feeling reveals their greatest passion. At this juncture, a leader learns who his follower is.
3. What Makes You Happy?
Enjoyment is an incredible energizer to the human spirit. When a person operates in an area of pleasure, they are apt to be brimming with life and exude enthusiasm.
If a leader can uncover a person's dreams, hurts, and joys, you have discovered the central dimensions of their life.
Jesus, the greatest leader to walk the earth speaks of the need to know each other deeply. He is quoted, in the book of John chapter 17 versus 24-26:
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them (NIV).”
A Brief Quiz That Draws out a Person’s Passion
(Try to limit your answers to one or two words)
Each question is asked both positively and negatively which assist one to express opposite feelings and emotions revealing one’s true inner self.
Questions That Reveal Inner-Self
What is your biggest asset?
What is your biggest liability?
What do you like most from others?
What do I like least from others?
What is the best thing to have?
What is the worst thing not to have?
To Maximize this Lesson, I Encourage You to do the Following:
Ask yourself and answer the questions posed in the lesson. In doing so, you will enhance your self-awareness. Share your answers with your team to allow them to learn about you. Ask your team to answer the questions to encourage their self-discovery. Ask your team to share their answers with one another. This practice will bring team members closer together.
A Summary of this Blogger’s Answers to the Quiz:
My greatest asset is my attitude. During hard times, attitude carries you through. My biggest liability is unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations stems from my habit of expecting too much from me personally. What I like most from others is encouragement. Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul, in that it allows you to breathe. Encouragement supports and sustains leadership, especially when under pressure. I have a difficult time with people who make excuses—blamers, complainers, and explainers who refuse to accept responsibility for their mistakes. On the other hand, I admire a person who will admit their faults. The best thing to have is friends. Nothing compares to the joy and fulfillment of going through life with friends you can laugh with, cry with, and celebrate alongside. The worst thing not to have is hope. With no hope, purpose evaporates.
Hope is the foundation of all change. When people say, "I want to create change within my organization. What should I do?" the obvious answer is, "You have to create hope." Changes happens when one believes life is going to improve. Hope is the motivation that allows people to change.
In a recent article from Sharon Ting and Peter Scisco's work, The CCL Handbook of Coaching: A Guide for the Leader Coach, the Center for Creative Leadership breaks down the basic characteristics of the leader-coach.
A. Leader-Coaches are Intentional.
1. Leader-coaches strategically spend time discovering the strengths, weaknesses, goals, and values of those they lead.
2. With an accurate picture of an person's dreams and desires, the leader can coach the individual in areas which appeal to the person's internal motivations.
3. A leader-coach bestows value and importance by intentionally giving attention to those on the team.
B. Leader-Coaches Focus on Performance and Development.
1. In the past leaders primarily looked toward productivity and results.
2. Today, leaders must place great importance on developing their personnel.
3. People want to expand their skills sets.
4. A person enjoying growth opportunities will be more likely to offer loyalty and commitment to organizational
C. Leader-Coaches take a Systemic Perspective.
1. Leader-coaches see their role as creating a culture of leadership growth.
2. Leader-coaches may make a habit of scheduling extended learning experiences.
A leader-coach with enthusiasm for personal and team development initiates a contagious climate in which growth is sought after and prized.