At work, are you masterfully developing the most valuable people skill all great employers need? Or are you creating a messy wake of damage from a very common workplace mistake? Making mistakes on the job comes with the territory of innovative thinking and discovery of better ways to accomplish company goals. And good business leaders now understand that to be considered a great leader, they must create safe space for employees to make mistakes. But out of all the possible missteps you can take, this common workplace mistake has the highest potential for the greatest damage: the mistake of mistaking others’ identity.
Are you making this common and very damaging workplace mistake?
In today’s smartest and most innovative workplaces, it’s your character, native inner strengths, and emotional intelligence they’re hiring. Your work experience is important but it’s not the main reason for choosing to add you to their team. Yet with all the right stuff, you can still damage your career and your reputation if you lack one of the most valuable and transferable skills all great employers need in their business. It’s the skill of “Seeking First to Understand.”
Seek first to understand or you too will be at a high risk of mistaking the true identity, potential, and actions of people all around you.
Actions DO NOT equal the person.
We’ve outlined how to avoid letting mistakes turn into massive messes by practicing the art of “putting it right” early and often. It boils down to your response when a mistake is inevitably made. The workplace is yet another arena where you must do the “daily math.”
If you recall, we did the math while considering the difference between a mess and a masterpiece:
- Messes in Your Life = Mistakes in your day you never clean up
- Masterpieces = Mistakes in life you worked to put right (daily)
And in the workplace . . . we must add one more important equation:
- ACTIONS ≠ THE PERSON
If you don’t lead with understanding, how often will you misread a colleague’s well-meaning intentions and create offense?
Without understanding, how often will you misjudge the reasons your direct report is acting stressed out? Will you make assumptions that tear down your working relationship?
If you miss the first step in appreciating why your boss values certain duties over others, how long will it take before the two of you are at cross purposes?
Turn this workplace mistake into a master class on relationship building.
Mistakes are lessons you need to learn and learn well. Do you possess the valuable skill of “Seeking First to Understand”? Moreover, can you make it a transferable skill by modeling it to others? I submit that this is the real difference between your being a company asset or a major liability. Consider this example:
In Your Workplace
THE MISTAKE: Jumping to incorrect conclusions and misjudging the motives of peers without a true understanding of the innate drives of their individual design.
A MESS? Drawing these conclusions without verification or further investigation creates a trap of insecurity that begins to motivate your actions. Even if you are generally an optimistic and open person who is known for a collaborative approach, this mistake can shut you down. Your reputation for collaboration and partnership can suddenly be demoted to one of being insecure and unreliable.
OR MASTERPIECE? Your mistake of misreading people’s actions and misunderstanding their motives and values can be put right with the same skill that protects you from making this mistake in the first place. Put one of your inner strengths in motion and you’ll have the motivation to seek understanding FIRST. Remove the likelihood of mistaking identity, intentions, and motives.
Do you want to be a major company asset? Start here and gain understanding.
- Know which of these inner designs is at work in your life: SP, SJ, NT or NF? You are designed to turn mistakes into a fulfilling life, full of healthy relationships. But building a life you love, full of masterpieces, starts with knowing how this inner design works and which inner strengths belong to you (by design).
- Discover your InnerKinetics® and use one of your inner strengths to create a masterpiece in your own workplace?
- Are you the Ultimate Optimist (an Inner Strength of the “SP”)?
- Are you Responsible, Disciplined & Dependable (an Inner Strength of the “SJ”)?
- Are you Strategic (an Inner Strength of the “NT”)?
- Do you Seek Harmony in Relationships (an Inner Strength of the “NF”)?