Leaders need to be objective but that is a difficult challenge when dealing with all the other demands and deadlines facing them daily. They may also be experiencing stress or even lack of sleep which affects their ability to think, and more importantly act objectively.
The important thing for a leader to recognize is how they interpret information and then what behaviors do they exhibit when faced with a situation where they need to be objective. Past experiences, upbringing, culture issues, gender, etc. all can affect a leader’s thought process, especially when faced with a situation they may not even want to deal with.
To be more effective, a leader needs to spend time analyzing their own behaviors especially when faced with a similar situation. It has been proven that we tend to repeat the same behaviors when experiencing a similar situation even if it has been awhile ago. By gaining clarity and awareness a leader can shift the behavior and react in a different manner. This is not easy but if a different outcome is desired this exercise needs to be done.
It is also imperative for the leader to acknowledge that fear, anxiety, and/or insecurity are probably key factors as well. Regardless of what the leader is feeling, he/she needs to have the ability to put these feelings “on a shelf” and try to be as open minded as possible. If not, interesting opportunities could be missed.
What if you are dealing with someone who is not objective? The best thing to do is present facts that define the situation and even develop a list of pros and cons. Anticipate any pushback this person may have and be able to constructively address the issues. Getting caught off guard will only make this person dig their heels in even more and not be willing to listen.
When were you faced with a situation that you felt you were being objective? Did you truly let the other person state their case or was your mind partially or fully made up already? If it is the former, list all the feelings you had and now looking back on it determine if you feel the same way.
Other “O” words to ponder – opinion, opportunity, organize, and optimism.