Deliberative: Listen & Learn

I recently participated in a workshop teaching the practice of leading with an outward mindset.  At its core, The Outward Mindset teaches us to see others as people who matter, taking into account their needs, challenges, and objectives and focusing on collective results.

During the session, we were introduced to a "Pyramid of Influence".  This has also been called "The Leadership Pyramid" and even "The Parenting Pyramid".  The base of the pyramid is a mindset change where you are constantly seeing people as people and considering their needs, challenges and objectives.  It then progresses to building relationships, listening and learning, teaching and communicating - and then correcting behaviors as desired.

The secret of the pyramid is that it prompts us to look for solutions to a problem at a deeper level than the one level that the problem seems to be at. The answer to a problem at one level of the pyramid lies at the level below.

Many leaders - including myself - tend to jump directly into correcting problems versus working the steps.  My Top StrengthsFinder Talent Themes of Strategic (#1), Ideation (#2) and Achiever (#5) kick into full gear whenever a challenge or conflict  presents itself, which leads me to trying to correct it quickly.

Based on the lessons from The Outward Mindset, I am more mindful of my approach with my team, peers and family.  Considering the needs of others, I will be building and re-enforcing relationships and listening and learning in order to provide the best advise and direction.

People with a predisposition to listening and learning before reacting and correcting enjoy the StrengthsFinder Talent Theme Deliberative.  People with strong Deliberative talents are careful and vigilant.  They bring a thorough and conscientious approach to making decisions.  To them, making the right choice is more important than the time it takes to do so.  They have the ability to reduce risk and prevent problems through anticipation and careful thinking.  They naturally listen to others to gather the information they need to make sound decisions.

In a previous post (Outside In, Sept. 18th), I concluded that people with the Talent Theme Includer were already wired to see people as people - which forms the base of the pyramid.  Deliberative really demonstrates its worth when it comes time to patiently listen and learn before making corrective decisions.

Deliberative is #32 of my 34 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes.  Before embracing strengths, I used to get frustrated by people - or complete departments - who appeared to be placed on this earth simply to slow things down.  Now, I realize that my past (and sometimes present) frustration is rooted in my own disruptive talents (Strategic #1, Ideation #2 and Futuristic #3) - and that I could have avoided several "learning moments" over the past 30+ years had I slowed down a bit. 

I have grown to appreciate the Deliberative people in my life and respect that the time and care they are taking to advance projects and decisions is as inbred in them as Ideation is in me.  I not only appreciate the behaviors of Deliberative people, but I aspire to "listen and learn" from them on my journey towards excellence.

People with the Talent Theme Deliberative can make a difference in the workplace as follows;

* Help others think through business decisions.  Make your talent known to your work group and volunteer to offer advise before people make snap judgments.  

* Don't allow others to misconstrue your talents as being too slow or cautious.  Explain your process of careful decision making and how an investment in time will benefit everyone in the long run.  You think things out thoroughly because you care about others - not to be a road block.  

* Search for people with the Talent Theme Activator.  The Activator motto is "do it until you get it right" while Deliberative people believe they should "do it when you get it right".   Together, you can learn from each other's talents and make and implement many decisions.  

Dan is currently serving 20 years to life as the Sr. Director of Destination Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.  He prefers white-water rapids over data lakes and lists Ideation, Futuristic and Positivity amongst his signature talents.    


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