Saturday, May 16, 2009

Leaders: Are You Focused on Being Understood or On Understanding Others?

As Leaders go, some may say that their ability to make decisions and carry them out is the most important quality. It is true, that quality is absolutely essential to successful leadership.

Yet, some will say that the ability to get their ideas across, to convey their thoughts completely and concisely, and convince or win over their audience; to be understood – is their most valuable quality.

But indeed, the ability to understand your audience may be far more important. To sense or be able to discern what someone needs in the way of your approach, conversation or information is key. You must consider your audience when presenting any idea, system, opportunity, or product.

Someone new will need a bit more nurturing and patience, while you make every attempt not to overwhelm them with your knowledge. Someone experienced will require more challenge and more of your expertise to remain interested. Someone who has been through an extremely rough time may require more time to process anything you give to them.

Someone with an analytical personality, a ‘green’, will require all of the information you can share, in a very organized manner. But a rapid-fire, decide now, forceful presentation would be a sure way to get rid of them. Someone who is a nurturer or caretaker (the ‘yellow’), will require a broader view and will only care about the details at some distant point in the future as the need arises. Someone who is looking for excitement (the ‘blue’ personality) will require all of your energy and conviction to maintain their interest.

Understanding personalities and what someone’s background is can go a long way in effectively communicating your ideas and being accepted. It may also go a long way in your ability not to regard them as a lost cause and give up on a potentially great prospect!

Just something to think about!

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