My professional career has taken me to many new places and unique work experiences. During these transitions, I love figuring out how things work and learning from the staff already in place. It requires me to rely on others to understand what is happening around me.
I have discovered that peak awareness and learning takes place at the beginning of our work tenures. But, our learning shouldn’t stop there!
After we become acclimated to our work environment, daily routine, and reporting structure, it is tempting to rely on our own understanding and become less dependent on those around us. While unintentional, this tendency can communicate a message portrayed as “Hey I’m the leader, I have experience and know what is going on around here, so I will chart the course.”
As leaders we can’t let this happen. We need to remain curious, ask questions, and, most importantly, continually engage others. What your employees are saying is an indicator of whether your company is healthy, equipped and prepared for the future. This means listening intently, sincerely and curiously to the ideas and conversations happening around you.
Challenge yourself – try to take the “new-guy perspective.” What is happening around you? What doesn’t feel right? Who can best help you solve problems or plan for the future? You may be surprised by what you learn.