Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Person's Self-Vision Can Be Gold

We all have visions of ourselves, however incomplete. Me? I envision myself as someone who works to make things better for other people. I fancy myself as someone who finds clarity and enforces the value of consistency. It blinds me to the weaknesses that inherently go along with it. For instance, I can come off as idealistic or staunch. It isn't the intention, but it can be the result of seeing a way in which clarity and consistency go hand in glove. So, if you work with me -- play into it. Think about the ways in which the organization could be better and challenge me to see it, understand it and move it.

When you work with someone who sees themselves as an educator (which might be a kind way of saying "seeming know-it-all"), put them in situations through which they can share their experiences and expertise to help other colleagues find ways to make improvements. Let them talk. Listen. Gently probe and redirect. And, then, ask them how they would suggest that you tackle A, B or C or what they think you might want to consider in achieving an intended impact.

It isn't easy, but playing into someone else's vision of who they are can make your more effective in navigating or influencing the desired change.
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