|First day in the new job….|
|I’ve never been responsible for so much before.||I wonder what the new boss will be like.|
|Better make a good impression or they’ll think they’ve made the wrong hiring decision.||Better make a good impression or they’ll think I’m no good at my job.|
|Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of all this.||Must look like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. I’m meant to be in charge of this department.|
|OK, let’s do this.||OK, let’s do this.|
|[Step into the office, shoulders back, head up, eye contact, confidently greeting people]||[Steps into the office, looking around]
Is he here yet?
|[Conversations in flow – listening deeply]||[Conversations in flow – speaking passionately]|
|Wow I’m learning loads.||Wow I know more than I realised, and he seems to be really listening. This is going well!|
|I have so many questions.||These questions are really getting me thinking. I love this!|
|These people really know their stuff.||I feel like I know my stuff even better than I did before this conversation!|
|They seem so engaged with what they’re doing and keen to change things for the better.||I love this job and this new boss seems great!|
|I’d better show that I know stuff too [adds knowledgeable stuff to conversation].||And he has insights to add. That’s so useful to have a new perspective.|
|A few months later…..|
|[Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations grows….]||[Amount of knowledgeable stuff added to conversations is dropping, confidence is dropping]|
|Hey, I’m doing great! Look at all this stuff I know now.||I’m not sure I’m as good at this as I thought I was.|
|I can add so much to conversations.||I don’t feel I can share anything he doesn’t already know.|
|I have so many ideas. I’m thriving on sharing them with everyone!||I don’t know where to take this next. I can’t get a word in edgeways anyway.|
|6 months later….|
|I get all this now.||I’ll wait to be told.|
|I’ve got a clear plan of what we need to do and how we’re going to get there.||It’s always his opinion first so no point thinking first.
|Why is this person saying this again? We went over this already?||If he’d only listen he’d hear what I’m really saying. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t care what I have to say.|
|I asked for that last week. What are they doing?||What’s the point, it won’t be exactly what he wants anyway.|
|I have this amazing idea – I’ll go and tell the people who need to make it happen. It must be done yesterday!||Instructions received. Robotic task-completion mode engaged.|
|Nobody has anything to say around here.||…..|
|I wish people would just get on and do instead of seeking permission from me!||Given he knows it all I need to check this first or it’ll be wrong.|
|Why does nobody interact in our meetings or bring ideas?
It’s like they’ve all just disengaged.
We’re taught our whole lives – from school and through work – to show our brilliance. Have the ideas. Show you know things. Demonstrate capability. Do stuff and do it well and quickly.
All through school, university and work we’re rewarded and praised for knowing and doing.
Then we reach leadership and we keep knowing and doing. And people disengage, switch off their brains, and do the basics or go elsewhere.
We need to just be. To listen. To allow space for others to grow into. And yes to add insight. To provide a broader context or set a vision higher than anyone might believe can be reached. But all the while involving and listening to others.
How are you doing at being?