A good friend tells a tale of her husband’s writing style in greetings cards. Some might say it sits on the far left of cautious . . .
And we laughed at this little tale, and he laughed too (I hope) because we’re not malicious, and we love him. And my friend should take comfort in knowing that at least her beloved’s style is a tad more effusive than another friend who sent his wife a Christmas card with a picture of a pheasant on the front, reading “Best wishes for a Happy Christmas” inside. Yes, you’re right . . . they’re no longer sending each other cards of any sorts. She threw them all out in the divorce.
So Colin’s phraseology and style are simply reminders of our preferences and our differences, aren’t they? I attended a team meeting recently where we were all asked to speak for 10 minutes on our work – and was genuinely surprised by the different methods we each used to do that – slide decks, handouts, standing up, sitting down, images, words. Difference, again. And it felt good.
And as leaders we know that we should remember to encourage people to express their differences – but that’s not usually the hard part, is it?
Isn’t the hardest part this?
- You want to delegate but you feel you could do it better yourself
- You ask for their opinion, but then can’t help yourself offering yours
- You tell them to come up with a plan, but instead overrule it with yours
- Their style isn’t your style, so you’ve quickly dismissed it or them
- You ask them a question, but answer it before they’ve had time to.
I could go on.
But at the risk of encouraging you to accept difference, I’ll leave the rest up to you.