There are two powerful ways to cultivate powerful and meaningful relationships. The first and most fundamental way to create meaningful and powerful relationships in our diverse work culture is through Personal Leadership. The second way to build meaningful and powerful connections in a diverse world is to now put your personal leadership skills into action! We do this by taking personal responsibility for reaching out and connecting with others who don’t seem to think, look, talk or behave like us. This is what I refer to as Relational Leadership.
Powerful and Meaningful Relationships Through Personal Leadership
The first and most fundamental way to create meaningful and powerful relationships in our diverse work culture is through Personal Leadership. Personal Leadership is an individual’s choice to lead and live their life on purpose. It requires intention and discipline in living out the values and beliefs that are important to you.
If you truly value diversity and the opportunity to know, grow and expand your perspective beyond your familiar, then you will most certainly need to be intentional about it. You must personally lead the process. I completely understand the gravitational pull towards being comfortable by surrounding ourselves with people and situations that don’t disturb our perspective of what’s right, good and acceptable in our eyes. Therefore, I’m not here to tell you it’s an easy thing to do. To the contrary.
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to naturally consider someone else’s ideas, perspective, agenda above our own…especially when we know and firmly believe our way is “the right way.”
True personal leadership growth cannot reach its full capacity, until we voluntarily decide to adopt the idea that diversity in thought, ideas, culture and more are not only a nice thing to do, but a need to do if we’re going to grow and broaden our leadership scope. Choosing to abandon the fear of diverse people and situations is the first step in laying the foundation to building meaningful connections.
The notion that just because you are open to considering ideas that are different from yours, does not imply you are obligated to adopt their ideas and perspectives as necessarily your own. This is not a competitive debate on who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s simply allowing yourself to be open to genuinely understanding the way someone else sees the world.
The ability to build meaningful and powerful relationships regardless of how diverse, is only possible when we take on a Personal Leadership perspective of owning our willingness to be open to learn and understand. The net result and benefit of this discipline is empathy.
Empathy is a powerful tool that opens the door for meaningful and power connections to be made and most importantly opens the door in establishing trust.
Powerful and Meaningful Relationships by Taking Personal Responsibility
The second way to build meaningful and powerful connections in a diverse world is to now put your personal leadership skills into action! We do this by taking personal responsibility for reaching out and connecting with others who don’t seem to think, look, talk or behave like us. This is what I refer to as Relational Leadership.
Relational leadership is deciding to voluntarily lead the process of connecting with the intent to genuinely understand someone’s alternate view, position, values, beliefs and ideals. Again, this is not an easy task, at least not initially. The decision to step outside of our familiar, comfortable and sometimes indignant thought patterns can be quite challenging at best.
The process of applying Relational Leadership will require three things; willingness, intent and discipline. You must see the inherent value in connecting with diverse thought processes. Then you must voluntarily decide to be intentional in implementing the discipline.
The discipline is a simple concept, but challenging because it’s more comfortable not to do it. The discipline is to intentionally decide to simply ask someone who may look, think or behave differently than you one question just to open up the dialog. “I’m curious…what do you like most about what you do?” We all like to be interesting and give someone an opportunity to share a bit about themselves with no agenda on our part but to be genuinely interested. We grow our knowledge and perspective and they feel like they matter.
The beautiful combination of Personal Leadership and Relational Leadership, opens up a world of opportunity for building meaningful and powerful connections that can last a lifetime. Personal Leadership is voluntarily choosing a personal growth mindset of expanding your view of the world. Relational Leadership is voluntarily implementing the discipline of taking the initiative to connect with others who appear to be different. I urge you to take each day as a unique opportunity to grow personally and to make someone feel that they matter. The rewards and ripple effect are endless.