Leadership – The need for a Paradigm Shift!
This ability to look at things from an impartial and rational perspective demands an ability to constantly experience a Paradigm Shift! A Paradigm is the way we look at things; A Paradigm shift is the ability and willingness to take a look at the same thing from a different point of view.
A Trainer was conducting a seminar on Goal Setting. As part of the workshop, the participants had to write down the three most important things in their lives. One of the participants Biju, a talented young man from Kerala listed Professional Success, Financial Independence and an Understanding Wife! (You think the third item is too optimistic? Well the young are eternal optimists, aren’t they?)
The trainer suggested that Biju should have a relook at his selection. As Biju kept scratching his head, the workshop moved on to the next activity, which was to draft a goal statement for the next five years. Suddenly, Biju jumped up and exclaimed, “I’ve got it! I don’t want an understanding wife! When I marry, I want to become an understanding husband!”
Yes Biju underwent a Paradigm Shift! He was proving that a proactive person will look beyond his circumstances and examine how he can influence them! It is easier to change your response to your circumstances, than to attempt to change your circumstances.
Our life is like a game of chess! The chess board is already laid out; the pieces have defined movement; you cannot control your opponent’s moves; but you can make your own moves with care, fore thought and intelligence!
The prerequisite for getting what you want out of other people is not only knowing what you want but also the ability and willingness to understand what they want. As Biju discovered for himself, every one of us can go through the Paradigm Shift which will take us from reactive behavior to proactive result oriented focus. If we want our employees to be understanding and sincere, then we need to be understanding employers ourselves. This is the concept enshrined in the Fifth Habit from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The Fifth Habit is “Seek first to Understand, then to be understood.”
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