Being a leader means you can’t avoid difficult conversations, even when addressing conflict makes you uncomfortable, Marlene Chism writes. One of her four suggestions for inviting discomfort is to avoid interrupting during triggering conversations, instead encouraging the speaker to express themselves.
” from SmartBrief on Leadership
Rather than avoidance, engage to understand. Rather than terminating or firing the speaker, encourage the offering of alternative ideas, options to explore.
Attract people to your inner circle who are willing to disagree with you and who bring alternative viewpoints.
As the leader it is your responsibility to make the final decisions but listening and learning first will allow you to make better decisions. You don’t want your assumptions to get in the way of deep and exploratory thinking about a subject.
Unless you have a perfect memory for everything you hear and everything you read, you will need to make notes of important points you DO want to remember. By that, I mean not writing everything down because you don’t know what you will want later, but instead just noting the keywords and ideas. Learning to focus and to listen to understand and parse is a worthwhile skill.
Connecting the important ideas and writing down only keywords and phrases can most easily be done by taking notes as a mind map. The mind map allows you to add keywords or phrases to the topic branches as they come up.
It is also much easier to review your notes in a mind map than to reread whole paragraphs or outlines.
You will find that making notes about a topic you want to write or speak about in a mind map form allows you to organize your disparate ideas into logical branches before proceeding. You may find that if the purpose is to give a short informal talk, you can follow the mind map and give the whole talk without writing out a speech. Your talk will sound much more natural and you will appear well versed in your topic versus looking like you are reading from a document or note cards.
There are so many good things that happen when you learn to use mind mapping that I had to make you a mind map to show them all…and there are even more than the ones that I listed.
I’d like to hear the reasons it would be helpful to you. Would you like to learn to pay attention and take notes better when listening to someone speak, or when you are reading a book or article? Would you like it to be easier to review notes you made instead of laboriously rereading all of the sentences? Would you like to be able to have collaborative meetings with others over Zoom or another online shared meeting? An that could be just the beginning of the advantages of learning to mind map.
What would be your reasons or interests in mind mapping? Let me know.
Helping Others Learn
The well known old Chinese proverb says, If you give a person a fish, he eats for a day, if you teach him to fish, you feed him for life.
Teaching a concept to others is like that. They learn and can apply the concept. But teach someone how to learn, how to increase their knowledge, and you have given them a gift for life.
Teach someone how to read or listen effectively, so they remember what they read or heard, is like teaching them to fish.
Most people hardly listen. They can’t remember someone’s name nor what they said. When you learn to listen for content and context, for the meaning, then you will remember and those who feel listened to will remember you for that appreciation you showed.
Questions are a sign of intelligence and also of interest, curiosity , and caring about the other person and topic. So don’t hold back.
Then listen to the answers, listen intently, listen to understand, listen for the meaning. Be careful that your questions are sincere rather than a way for you to introduce what you have to say. As Stephen Covey said, “seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”
Anxiety is not intuition. Worry doesn’t make you more productive.
Planning for how you will handle situations gets you ready for whatever will come. Worrying only focuses on what might or might not happen if you don’t plan.
Take out a plain piece of paper and a marker or pencil. In the center write your goal or problem to solve. Circle it. Draw branches out from the circle, each with a topic to think through. Make extra notes using smaller branches for each of the topics. Only use single words or short phrases.
What you drew is a mind map. The process you went though on paper helps your brain explore and investigate ideas such as how to solve a particular problem. Try mind mapping the next time you are grappling with a problem.
This is my TedX talk about mind mapping with nearly a million views:
Share something you have learned in your life as a gift of curiosity and knowledge.
It will be a gift to yourself at the same time as to the other person.
When you share a lesson you learned, and this can be a practical,
how-to-do or something you realized not to do, they learn from your experience.
At the same time time, your learning gets deeper as you figure out how to explain and create understanding without the direct experience.
This not about ‘shoulds’, as you tell the story about how you learned. Bring the other person into your thought process, your curiosity, your hard lesson, if necessary. Let them visualize what it would have been like if they were there with you or instead of you.
Stories are memorable. Stories give the listener the chance to decide.
We all mix them up. Imagine for a moment you’re looking to buy a new car. What do you need? Something reliable, decent gas mileage, seats one, or maybe 4, what else? Do you need it to have fast acceleration? Do you need it to be a color you like, maybe even bright red? Do you need a snazzy convertible that makes you feel on top of the world?
So wants and needs get mixed up in our head.
A need is something that must be fixed, a problem that requires solving, a pain that requires fixing.
Wants are desires, preferences, attractions.
And if you can satisfy both your wants and needs at the same time, do it, and be aware of the difference and the double win.
Vision is the big, long term goal for an individual or an organization. Strategy is the “How.” How will you achieve the vision or at least keep moving solidly towards it. Mission describes the daily processes and behaviors that focus on the vision and apply the strategy.