Posted by: chrismaser | May 12, 2010


Being a good leader requires you to be aware of many different things happening simultaneously, such as the various ways different people respond to any given circumstance, especially when fear of loss or change is involved. Although conflict often arises where fear resides, a person who can imagine themself in the shoes of another can often tap into what the other person may be feeling and why. To do this, one must ask: “How would I feel in that person’s situation? Why would I feel that way?

A few people assume this role naturally and automatically; others can learn to do so consciously. A person with this ability can often defuse conflict, either before it starts or before it gets out of hand and requires special resolution. Such a person can also anticipate where events are going and thus help people to have compassion and understanding for and patience with one another along the way. In addition, a person who can put themself in another’s shoes can often help people to put their talents together in a complementary (instead of competitive) way that actually inspires people to perform better than they thought possible.

Series on Leadership Challenges:

Return to the First Set of Posts

• Avoiding Self-Deception

• Over-Investment In Followers

• The Value Of Humor

• Coping With Someone You Dislike

• Inspiring Performance

• Nurturing Creativity

• Making Do With What You Have

• Establishing Realistic Objectives

• The Need For Urgency

• Give Counsel, Not Advice

• The Questions We Ask

• Burnout

• Leadership Within Organizations

Text © by Chris Maser, 2010. All rights reserved.

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection

This article is excerpted from my 1998 book, Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Development. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. 235 pp. It is updated in my 2012 book, Decision Making For A Sustainable Environment: A Systemic Approach. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. If you want more information about this book, want to purchase it, or want to contact me—visit my website.

If you wish, you can also read an article about what is important to me and/or you can listen to me give a presentation.

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