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Adapting To Opinions

We often hear things we disagree about. The rarest of them all is when somebody actually gives us a comment about our behaviour. Yet when they do so, we find ourselves disputing their opinion. Because how is it possible we are that ugly and repulsive person in their eyes? We shut them down immediately and never hear about it again.

As leaders in our own right, it is important that these comments be absorbed and inspected to see if there is any validity in them. If anything, there is a certain need to have a proper medium to enable your colleagues or staff to give you comments when it is relevant. Having a proper medium to receive feedback and insights into your own skillsets is beneficial in the long-run.

Your colleagues or staff tend to fear two things when it comes to feedback. The first is actually offending the target of their feedback, while the second is losing their job. Having policies that facilitate easy comments being passed around is the bedrock of an open-door policy. There is a greater propensity of people to provide their honest view on things when they can do so without any repercussions. Which is also why anonymous reports tend to be more insightful and honest when compared to ones that have a paper trail. People tend to fear backlash, both the intangible and tangible. The former refers to things like more assignments given to them or just the passive-aggressiveness they will receive in the workplace. The latter on the other hand refers to the possibility of being fired or transferred. Essentially, both outcomes have unintended consequences from their feedback. Hence, it is important that the unintended consequences would never present itself. If people find it comfortable to talk about their problems about and with you (simultaneously), then they will trust you even more.

To put things in a more straightforward manner, leaders must be open to criticism. We are not perfect beings, but we surely can aim for that. This is when your own objectivity comes into play. You cannot please everyone, and some feedback may coincide with practices and things you fervently believe in. As such, in situations like these, it is important to ensure you do not fall prey to iatrogenics (intervention that causes more harm than good).

Of course sometimes it really is their behaviour and there is nothing to be worried about.

Knowing the difference is important.

The ultimate solution is to know yourself and the people you are dealing with. Most of your interpersonal problems can be resolved simply by tailoring your own reactions to certain events.

Keep an open mind when you work with others and you will find improvements coming your way.


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