One of the greatest “sins”, if you will, of leadership, is the trap of hearing what you want to hear when you are either insecure about yourself or holding a grudge against someone else. You usually hear what you want to hear when you have a bone to pick or are insecure about yourself. It’s one of the hardest fragments of our character to detect, but seeing it is essential to your survival in leadership.
This is a self-check. Each of us has done this or are doing this in one way or another. I offer only the advice, stop it. Hearing what you want to hear at the expense of another is not only a lack of integrity on your part, but it tarnishes their image and makes you a weaker leader.
So how do you know if you are hearing what you want to hear?
A quick exercise: pull out your phone and write down each person that you run into on a daily basis that annoys you, angers you, or makes you feel insecure. Think about why you have a chip on your shoulder with that person. Dig to the root situations, then force yourself to see it from their side and make yourself the enemy. When you play devil’s advocate for your grudges it not only expands your perspective, but you are able to check if you are hearing what you want to hear. Twisting statements because of your own problems and unresolved issues.
None of these challenges are ever meant to accuse, they are only meant to improve. I say the above bluntly so that there’s no room to squirm out of the uncomfortable reality that all of us have been guilty of at one time or another. If that time is now for you, stop it and fix it.
If you are struggling to dig to the root of issues I am always available to talk and assist you in getting to the answers that lead to improvement.