Over the years, I’ve observed two leadership practices that promote a more collaborative culture and a more inclusive environment. I’ve discovered that these two viewpoints drastically impact the way people show up in their work life (and let’s be real, also in their personal life).
Here are the Two Leadership Practices that Promote a More Collaborative Culture
First? Always assume positive intent.
This is a mindset shift that reframes the “story” of a given situation.
You can apply this mindset by asking yourself “what if” questions.
For example, let’s consider that when a deadline is missed, or someone is too brash in a conversation, or a team member insists they cannot go back into the office after working from home the past year, it is usually followed with frustration from Managers and Leadership.
But what if we chose to shift our mindset and ask ourselves “what if” questions?
- What if there is a good reason that this deadline was missed, and I just don’t know it yet?
- What if the Leader that came across as too brash in conversation is in over her head with stressors at home, and hasn’t slept in days?
- What if my team member who wants to keep working from home (and not return to the office) doesn’t feel comfortable sharing with me the reason why?
Was there a deadline missed? Incorrect data? Late to a meeting? A team member who insists they cannot go back into the office after working from home the past year?
What if we choose to assume the other person had positive intent underneath what happened?
That would then lead us to want to understand. What is the positive intention behind the action that we saw?
When we choose to assume positive intentions from all those we work with, it drives us to this second philosophy:
Stay and be curious.
When Leaders are curious they:
- Ask questions to gain new information (and not to prove a point)
- Create learning cultures and don’t need to be the smartest person in the room
- Diffuse tense situations and are able to promote collaborative problem solving
Staying curious starts with assuming positive intention and that there is more to the story that a Leader doesn’t know yet.
It’s continued with Leaders having the courage to embrace the unknown, ask questions, and then create an open space to sit and really listen to what others have to say.
Staying curious requires a humility in leadership that allows Leaders to hear and engage with diverse perspective, new ideas, different approaches and to sit back and ask “what if.”
- What if we tried that?
- What if that could work?
- What if her idea is better?
When Leaders stay curious, organizations experience:
- Better collaboration leading to more innovative results
- A more inclusive culture
- Employees who feel more heard and valued
Now is the time to empower the Leaders in your organization to get curious and assume positive intent.
Ready to get started? Contact us to find out how.