When I was a young manager, I didn’t know it but, I saw myself as a knight in shining armor. I had decided that rather than look to my boss for approval, I would look out my people. I would be their champion.
When a person on my team came to me with a problem, I would immediately want to make that problem be gone. I would listen in depth to the story and talk with the person about strategy on how to handle it.
Sometimes the best strategy would be for me to step in. Defusing problems became removing road blocks and slaying dragons. Not the best way to look at things.
Armed with sword of the story that I’d been told, I would head over, up, or down to the location of the other people involved to meet about the issue. Sometimes the meeting would include the person who brought me the problem. Sometimes it would be a meeting between me and my counterpart in another department.
The meeting would happen. I would lay out the “facts” as I had been told them in the fewest words from beginning to end, and when I was finished. I would have slayed the dragon.
All too often that would be when manager peer would tell me the other side of the story and I would look down to see a slain kitten.
These days, when I hear a story of how someone has been wronged. I listen so carefully. I put myself in that person’s shoes. I think and feel as I were the person talking. Then I do what I might to get the other side of the story. I look for innocence, compassion, and forgiveness enough to give to both sides.
I’ve sworn off slaying kittens.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.
Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.