We all tend to view our own values and beliefs as the norm. If you, as a manager, value freedom, your primary assumption is that others need the same. Awareness of your values and needs (such as freedom) is essential to even consider whether someone else has that same need.
A significant part of leadership involves getting to know your employees. Who are you working with? What do they find important? What motivates them? What do they need from you to function optimally?
We often believe we know what matters to the other person or what they need. So, we don’t ask these questions and make assumptions about what another finds important. By doing so, you not only make it difficult for yourself, but you can also miss the mark considerably.
According to Toltec wisdom, as described in the bestseller “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, making assumptions always leads to problems:
When someone displays negative behavior towards us, we often make an assumption about it. We take it personally and feel hurt. Then, we blame the other person for making us feel this way and respond in a toxic manner.
Sometimes, you may not even notice that you’re making assumptions, especially when you have the best intentions. You’ll see a colleague who seems a bit less motivated and you might think, “I should give him a compliment more often,” while you’ll assume “it’s time to give her more responsibilities” if you see a colleague performing well. However, even action taken on well-intended assumptions may fail to provide what someone needs to function optimally.
So take the time to get to know your employees. Share your observations, verify your assumptions, or simply ask the question if you’re not sure.
Any questions? Call Jobtraining: 020-4230603 or email us.