While the impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump continues to polarize our nation, it also has seemed to favor only one side. It appears the Democratic Party is always seeking to couch their story one way and disregard all other facts. Since many have stood to witness, favor is heavily and continually bent for impeachment with little room to listen to the Republican Party and current administration. It is what some may call selective hearing
While this is not always the case in the courtroom or politics, it should never be in our leadership. Unfortunately, both sides in this case have not been equally heard and taken into consideration. In leadership, teams and even relationships as a whole, our posture should always be to give people a fair hearing and the benefit of the doubt. If we choose to lead fairly, we should always be seeking to listen fairly. If we choose just to hear one side of the story or assume the worst, we’re not truly listening to the story as a whole.
As in most any relationship, when you are working among a team, there will be conflict, different sides of the story, and differences of opinion. But to lead at our best, we cannot be biased. As leaders, it is essential that we give others a fair chance to be heard and validated. Our posture should always be to hear people out and give them a fair opportunity to explain themselves, before drawing to assumptions or sides.
Here are five ways to be sure you are treating each team member fairly:
- Remember the golden rule. Treat people as you would want to be treated. It’s simple but can drastically change the way we choose to lead.
- Be aware of your tendency towards favoritism. Do you tend to always call on the same people, only acknowledge certain birthdays, or invite the same individuals out for lunch? Take note of these seemingly minute habits which can easily instill favoritism.
- Be sure you are supporting diversity at work. Consider whether you are inviting and encouraging a variety of races and demographics to grow on your team. Not only will this build a healthier atmosphere for your current and prospective team, but it will increase your knowledge, empathy, and outlook as a leader.
- Know that people are human. Your team is human and they will make mistakes. They will not always get it right. Even as leaders, we have our fair share of mistakes. We must not neglect people because they aren’t perfect.
- Make sure you keep your door open to everyone. Seek to keep yourself available to connect with everyone on your team. When you find ways of actively doing this, you are showing your team you are there for them.
Within the personality dynamics of any leader and team, it is natural to gravitate and favor those you easily connect with. It’s also easier to just hear and empathize with one side of a story. Yet it is our job to keep our ears open in order to give everyone a fair opportunity to be heard and understood. Our role as leaders should not make us biased in any sense, but rather allow us a clearer outlook and vision to each side.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of "Framework Leadership." A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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