Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality.
I’ve had this quote from Ian McEwan lurking on my desktop for some time now and every time I read it I am struck buy how amazingly simple and how astonishingly profound it is.
At Aspire Leadership our courses are all about people influencing and communicating with each other whether we’re exploring transformational Leadership or looking at more concrete things such as how to make a project happen on budget and on time.
The one thing all our work has in common is how on earth we manage to work with other people and get people to buy in and do the things we want them to do. How do we exert our influence?
Well first, why not try and step into their shoes and understand their stuff. What’s going on for them?
For many reasons we can get exasperated with people as we try desperately to get them to do what we want.
The workplace can easily seem like a bloody battleground as wills collide over what needs to be done and how it should be achieved. Although some people thrive on conflict and actively seek it out – the majority of us find it stressful and exhausting.
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
This wise quote is often attributed to Harry S Truman but actually Bob Woodruff said similar and rumour has it so did Eleanor Roosevelt – so, ironically, let’s leave who gets the credit for this as an open door…
Whatever the case, it seems that the neediness of our fragile egos can trip us up on a regular basis when it comes to influencing and negotiating effectively. The good news in conflict resolution is that much of this hassle is completely unnecessary.