05 February 2009

Supporting Ego :-( Vs Respecting Opinions :-)

Being an egoistic and sensitive person (and the fact that I am trying to change myself), for the past few months, I have been learning on "Leadership". Much of the credits should obviously go to my team. In my case, I somehow have a feeling that my team is making me a good leader. I also have feeling and doubting my teammates whether they are leadership coach (Tip: Leadership coach is a very costly affair. They charge around 200-3000 dollars. And the news is that it is for one hour). I feel that my teammates are adding "so much" value to me than the value I add to them. I have been waiting so long time to register by understanding on leadership. After leading a team for almost a year, I want to write something based on my experience to share my views and at the same time get it validated. This is the first one. Here it goes.

Each human being will have opinions that are biased based on their moods, emotions, experience and knowledge. It is quite reasonable to say, there are at least "N" opinions for a problem. Sometimes problems overwhelm us and sometimes solutions overwhelms us. Whether it is good or not-so-good solution, the team needs to respect the opinions of the others. It is easier said than done. If you find a team where the people are mutually respecting each other, please remember that the team has worked really hard. A leader has a great deal to play in building the environment which foster mutual respect. Based on the personal traits, if a leader tends to support the ego, it backfires sometimes immediately and sometimes after two months with great intensity.

In many instances, when something was discussed in our meeting, the team was open to share their opinions. The team never supported or objected other's ego. When an idea or solution was put on the table, based on their expertise, the team would share the opinions. The person, whose ideas/solutions get reviewed, gets a feeling that he is in fact getting honest opinions. If the idea involves a team work, he is also confident that he will get team's support. The team not only gives respect in words but also on emotional level.

If you do not give deserved treatment (of course with respect) and simply support the views to support the ego, over a period of time, the team will certainly know that you are playing and the results will be devastating. The team will no longer have high regards for your praise neither for your reprimand. Irrespective of the experience, when you respect the team, it percolates to each team member and on one fine day, you will see a team who has a lot of fun, who takes the challenges positively and there will be perfect synergy.

So, supporting ego may yield some results in short term and often works in suck-up environment (Suck-up environment is an environment when sub-ordinates suck-up so nicely and the supervisor supports the ego. Generally, they do not see the merits of the opinions). But in longer term mutual respect wins. It makes sense to create an environment for mutual respect not because it works well in longer term but because each human being deserve equal respect in this society. Mutual respect and professionalism is such a wonderful thing. Once you do that, the rest will be history.

Catch you in later

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