Why leaders must seek to bridge our divides

Why leaders must seek to bridge our divides | practice (split each time) | 4 ways to get effective feedback from your team
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March 13, 2024
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Leading the Way
Why leaders must seek to bridge our divides
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Leaders can be a bridge between those with differing views -- political or otherwise -- by being curious about other's opinions and seeking to understand why they hold them, looking for commonalities and not labeling others, writes Samuel Wilson, an associate professor of leadership at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. "Just as we do not like to be generalized with a label, so too should we avoid the temptation to label others and instead apply deeper empathy to understand others," Wilson writes.
Full Story: Psychology Today (3/11) 
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Put it into practice: Bridge divides by being open to "both/and" thinking and solutions that may be a hybrid of differing opinions, but overall seeks to find a solution that helps the most people involved, Wilson suggests. "Each of these principles can take time and practice to adopt; however, change will not occur unless we play our part in the system."
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4 ways to get effective feedback from your team
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Leaders can eliminate the fear of asking their team members for input by taking the time to listen, then compiling the best ideas to bring up the chain and being clear that some ideas may not make the cut, writes Jennifer Miller. When decisions are finally made, thank your team for their opinions and clearly explain why some were rejected while others were implemented, Miller advises.
Full Story: The People Equation blog (3/11) 
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Put it into practice: Leaders sometimes avoid asking their team for input because they feel they must personally address every issue, says leadership expert Ken Trupke. "The choices are not, 'listen and be overwhelmed/ineffective,' OR 'don't listen.' But leaders need to be comfortable that they have a plan to listen AND effectively deal with what they hear," Trupke notes.
Spot an insecure leader -- or an insecurity in your own leadership -- by noticing if they constantly insert themselves into every story or brag about their past accomplishments or future plans, writes Scott Cochrane. "Make plans, but as a truly humble leader, don't keep talking about them," Cochrane advises.
Full Story: Scott Cochrane (3/11) 
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Put it into practice: Insecure leaders can make anything about themselves, Cochrane notes, from "an announcement of a new staff person, a description of a new initiative, or a mention of a team accomplishment." To combat that in yourself, "demonstrate the humility and security to let the spotlight shine on others."
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In Their Own Words
Living outside of the US for more than 14 years has taught Heather Hansen, the founder of Global Speech Academy Pte Ltd., to watch her assumptions about who is using English correctly and making room for linguistic and cultural differences to accommodate everyone. "I want to help global speakers to be recognized, respected, and have their ideas acknowledged in the world because we have a very Western dominant view of reality, and we need those global voices at the table. It's only going to be beneficial for innovation, collaboration, efficiency, to bring those voices in," Hansen says.
Full Story: Thinkers50 (3/12) 
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Daily Diversion
Why are shirt buttons gendered? Blame the 13th century
(Pixabay)
Shirts have had buttonholes since the 13th century, and using ivory, silver or gold for buttons soon became a fashion statement of the wealthy, and because well-to-do women were usually dressed by maids, the buttons on their shirts were on the left, so a right-handed helper could easily button them up. That's the best guess of fashion experts as to why men's buttons are on the right and women's are on the left, but Scott Liebenberg, the CEO of Tapered Menswear, says it may be time to do away with such outdated conventions.
Full Story: HuffPost (3/12) 
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SmartBreak: Question of the Day
Tim Berners-Lee, aka "inventor of the internet," wrote the first web browser, WorldWideWeb. That name was changed to what in its subsequent iteration?
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
Everybody wants a chance to be heard, whether it's contributing an idea for a new project or process or sharing their opinion on matters of the day. It's a leader's job to facilitate this kind of communication by not judging how others speak or inserting themselves into every conversation.

This can be difficult for leaders, though, because they can't always attend to every idea, agree with every opinion or resist the urge to discount others for how they speak or not use a self-reference as a springboard. What are you to do then?

Take Samuel Wilson's advice to get curious, listen more than speak, be open to others' views, adopt "clumsy" solutions that seek the best for everyone and when in doubt, be kind and strive to see the good in everyone.

If this newsletter helps you, please tell your colleagues, friends or anyone who can benefit. Forward them this email, or send this link.

What topics do you see in your daily work that I should know about? Do you have praise? Criticism? Drop me a note. And don't forget to send me photos of your pets, your office and where you spend your time off.
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Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
Martha Graham,
dancer, choreographer, pioneer of modern dance
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