in understanding what is going on inside of you
and inside the people you are involved with.
- Now, in some cases, you may actually know the answer to this question; but in many cases, you will be guessing. Guessing is good. Guessing suggests you care enough to understand what may be going on in the people you are trying to influence and lead.
- Try to think about the person and what you know about them (or the group and what you know about them). What would they most likely be afraid of in this situation? What would be creating a sense of fear or threat in their brains?
Change creates threat – new leaders, layoffs, performance feedback, difficult working relationships, and differences of opinion. Many things, big and small, can create fear, and fear never brings out the best in people. So, as a leader, you want to try to understand the fear and try to decrease it.
- Again, this may be a guess; but if it’s someone you have known for a while or worked with over time, you have a sense of what they do when stressed and afraid. Note it. Expect it. It can help you assess when fear is in play.
- This may be a guess as well; but if you have a history with the person or people, you may know exactly what they need. If not, think about what you believe helps people feel safe. Think of family and friends. How does their behavior and attitude change when they feel safe? How might you expect safety to show up in the person you are reflecting on?
- And, here is the game changer. As a leader, you want to consider how you might help the people you are in relationship with or leading feel safe and at their best. If they feel safe, you are more likely to get them at their best.