We work with a very elite portion of the population at BTL. We are blessed to work with a very strange breed who hold positions of power and yet are willing to subject themselves to being humbled in the process of becoming BTL. This process is always acutely painful. Peace is found, fleetingly, on the other side. Fact. Life is hard even for, especially for, those whose privilege it is to lead us. This is why the Bible instructs us all to pray for our leaders. God, help all leaders. Good.
Recently, a leader shared one of his leadership challenges with me. He has a teammate who is lost in his negative explanatory style – his pessimistic way of explaining what’s going on, if you will. The funny thing is, his teammate is at the top of his game. He’s best in class and the envy of the entire organization. Makes no sense why numero uno is falling prey to trash talking himself and putting undo pressure on each and every performance. He’s the main man and we all know it. Doesn’t much matter, friend. This is a frequent leadership challenge as much as the common cold. You see, friend, we mostly listen to one voice – the little one in our head. So, it doesn’t do much good trying to go around, leader, and fill everyone up with your belief when they lack belief themselves. The best way to help the hurting is to hear them. Listen to them. Ask them to tell you more and hear them out. Hear the yearning, not the whining. We all hurt. We all want someone to hear me. The more you hear me, the more my mind calms and soothes itself. Fact. And, as the mind calms, clarity comes. We feel a bit more understood by another and are more willing to write the bullshit burdening our brain. As we write, further clarity comes. We see, oftentimes suddenly, where we’re shaming ourselves. Freakin’ magic, baby.
Leader, most of your team is hurting, even the elite amongst you. Stop the attempt at fixing them through your words. Give them your ears. Give them the gift of hearing. Most humans, especially the high performing ones on your teams, listen to their own voice. Hear them. Help them by hearing. Who on your team needs the gift of being heard? Who is quietly or loudly asking you to hear me?
Hear me. Thanks for the listen, leader. I think I know what to do now. I’ve got this. That’s right. Good. Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…