"Communication is key" is an overused truism.
Barriers to growth, trust and the birth of new ideas can be directly linked to the absence of good communication--the ignoring of messages verbal and nonverbal.
What aren't you articulating? What messages are you not taking in?
Action is not the solution. Slowing down, asking questions, creating space for the words, for the meanings, that need to be shared is critical for effective leadership and personal growth.
All we have is the journey--some things need to be picked up along the road and examined. What gets evoked craves to be transformed into something useful.
Connect before you take action.
Recently I have been observing missed opportunities by leaders to really build a relationship and inquire about the needs of a community before designing the opportunity deemed necessary or needed.
Most often you end up doing more work than you actually intended or wanted to do with minimal impact.
Connection mobilizes energy and brings clarity of purpose.
All that other stuff is projection--feed your need first to nurture your curiosity about the other.
We know what we need to say and who we need to say it you.
One way to render ourselves ineffective is silence. Allowing time to pass, feelings to accumulate, on-going observations regarding a pattern of behavior that is problematic leads us to a false work within our own mind.
We begin talking to ourselves about what we're feeling, noticing, what needs to be done. What we don't notice is this: we've had this secret conversation so many times that we begin to believe that we've said it to the person or parties intended.
We begin to expect a change in behavior--haven't they been reading our minds?
We're making up stories about the capacity of the other to understand or shift. We're taking care of "them." The real story, you're taking care of yourself. You are avoiding work.
You must disrupt the status quo to have the impact that you want. You must remove the obstacle of silence.
We often our proud of ourselves when we notice something that others cannot see--the tiny print on a sign, the variance in a color shade, family patterns or dynamics in our workplace.
In the role of leader, not only are you responsible for seeing what others cannot, you are required to take action in the face of various circumstances that impede team effectiveness--to intervene.
Recently I was reminded that what lives unfinished in your life plays out within the team you are leading. If optimized and observed without judgment we can become even better leaders with more choices at our disposal.
If a lack of curiosity persists, we miss opportunities to do real work with ourselves, learn and integrate our new awareness in the work we do with others.
Often, we ignore the obvious--we cannot change others. We need to change ourselves AND the conditions of the environment where the "problem" lives.