“So, how do you manage all of your relationships?” was the question I was asking the seasoned leader sitting across the table in front of me. To be clearer, “How do you work with someone that has really been a challenge to you in the past and see only the good in them, dismissing the frustrating things and challenges they have brought to you over the years, and focus on bringing out the best in them?”

I was asking the questions because he had just finished sharing how he was looking forward to working in a situation that had been a challenge in the past. Even more so because I had some challenging situations in my own life as a leader and I wanted to learn to do what I was observing him doing. I made a mental note of his responses;

  • I always look for the best in people and bring that out if I can.
  • I quickly forget the challenging and frustrating things as all of us can be reacting due to different circumstances, situations, or challenges in our lives.
  • When people speak critically toward me, I always listen for the element of truth as there is always some truth in what they are saying, even if it is just a small piece.
  • I then take that piece, large or small and filter it through my personal growth areas that I have established in my life for that year.
  • I then re-visit these areas of growth on a quarterly basis to monitor change that is taking place in my life, and make course adjustments going forward.

Very sound advice from a seasoned leader, that as I was receiving and applying to my own life, I was carrying out a desire that I have as a leader, “Always learn something from those who are wiser than you!” I encourage you to find a leader that is wiser than you and learn from them as well. They have much to offer.

Declaring Our Victory Emanuel