ADAPTING OURSELVES TO EVERYONE AROUND US – FOR BETTER RELATIONSHIPS AND GREATER SUCCESS!
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At some point in time you’ve, no doubt, learned The Golden Rule, or a version of it:
DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.
Or, in other words,
TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.
Seems like reasonable advice, doesn’t it? Few of us would argue with the idea of “Don’t punch someone in the nose, if you don’t like being punched in the nose.” But, what if our relationships and our work-life are a little more nuanced than that?
Our company founder, Patrick O’Reilly, recently gave a TEDx Talk on this topic and now delivers keynote addresses to audiences around the world, highlighting some of those nuances. Patrick makes the point that as leaders we have to learn to treat employees the way they want to be treated.
Now before you start imaging treating that poor performer as a spoiled child, that’s not what we’re proposing. But imagine, for a moment, the example of one of our fantastic executive level clients who is recognized as a great leader and an outgoing, socially-driven executive. In a Padraig leadership workshop we asked leaders to think about the best things they do to motivate people … and then to think about how that same thing might be demotivating to others.
It’s a tough exercise; because it means looking at the world differently. This particularly good leader said to me “I’m not sure I can do this with my example, it kind of applies to everyone.” Her example was to recognize people publicly for their good work. “I don’t see how that could be a de-motivator for anyone,” she said to me. That’s when a couple of her colleagues, with a little prompting and encouragement, explained how they feel about public recognition – embarrassed, singled out unnecessarily and that they would much rather be recognized quietly and sincerely on a one-to-one basis.
So you see, in this example her singular leadership style wasn’t wrong, and for many of her direct reports it was greatly appreciated. BUT, with some tweaking – and paying a bit more attention to her individual staff member’s needs, she was able to:
- adapt and bring more than one style of leadership to her employees – strengthening her relationships;
- empower individual employees;
- better harness the talents of the team, and
- achieve much greater successes.
In our workshop, The Golden Rule is Wrong, we not only walk leaders through an understanding of the approach, we help them figure out the behaviour types of their own employees and how best to adapt their leadership style. We practise specific skills and leave the manager with a personalized guide to interacting with employees to achieve greater wins.