When leaders look around it is easy to use our own paradigm or lens through which to see the world. In these moments, we are restricted in our own point of view. We are restricted by our own experiences, our own needs, and our own desires. We cannot underestimate how strong the pull is to resolve issues based solely on our own perspective.
However, our perspective represents only a small portion of the world. Being inclusive requires that we use multiple lenses. It requires us to ask different questions, and probe for greater understanding. We need to be humble enough to admit that we need to continue learning, continue growing.
When resolving issues, consider factors such as how people of different ethnicities, different generations, and different life experiences may be impacted by, or may perceive these solutions. Avoid disregarding their point of view as not valid because it is different than our own. Instead ask yourself, what if their perspective is true? How would that redefine the issue or possible solutions? How might this better inform how we serve our clients or the community?
True innovation and synergy occur when we move past our own views to incorporate and consider those from whom we differ. In fact, instead of identifying ourselves as the norm and others as different, consider that they may be more of the norm and you are different. This perspective will allow you to openly seek and embrace different world views.
Ensure that you are a highly effective leader by not only being self-aware but aware of different norms, ideas and needs. Invest time in learning about other perspectives, observations and life experiences. Become adept at using different lenses and watch your impact grow! How often do you look at things from a different point of view?