Compassionate leaders understand what another person wants

Often the work we do is to satisfy someone else’s needs like a client, boss or peer. A small change in perception of the work we do for others will change our outlook towards it. The result is better quality work done faster and a more positive work experience.

When we begin to understand what another person wants, we instinctively want to help, serve, and collaborate. Often, we lose sight of this desire due to time pressures and deadlines – mostly imposed by ourselves, but sometimes by others. Think about it. When a friend or colleague asks for help, we usually say yes. Often, we commit to helping before looking at our schedules. I call this the “intuitive yes” because we want to be of service to others and help them achieve their goals. We all possess this intuitive ability, but it is more advanced in some people.

Forward-thinking leaders understand their intuitive competency and use it to help those around them, as well as the organization they serve. They look to the diversity amongst the members of their team to further understand them. They seek to understand their competencies and personality traits, and by doing so, they know where to deploy resources to support the members of their team. Also, they take this knowledge and work collaboratively, or co-construct, to break down barriers that stifle creative thought and innovation. As leaders, they co-construct with their team to ensure all voices are heard and everyone has input into the design of the team and its vision.

By co-constructing, members have a sense of ownership. It also allows for a more profound sense of equality and builds a desire to work towards solutions that are good for the entire organization. Co-constructing teams allow leaders to get to know what their members are passionate about, and it allows members to discuss areas that excite them, some of which may be outside their normal competency range.

Understanding the dynamics of their teams is not a one-time deal. Forward-thinking leaders regularly monitor them to see what is changing and what areas need to evolve. In many cases, the forward-thinking leader is the coach that pushes the team to achieve and ultimately surpass, its desired goal.