Everyone Wants to Have a Voice

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Very few things frustrate me more than feeling like my opinion does not matter. In fact, if I feel like someone is listening to what I have to say, I am generally okay with the outcome of a decision, even if it is not my decision.

I have seen this happen in rooms when planning summer camp. There will be a discussion, ideas being tossed about, and then I offer my opinion. Several times, I have offered a foolish or small-minded opinion or suggestion, and the conversation moved on. And I’m okay with that.

But the reality is that when I feel valued, I want what’s best for the situation.

The next question then becomes: if I feel that way when I’m not in charge, how am I treating people when I am in charge? Am I listening to those around me, or am I bulldozing ahead with what I want to do?

The challenge of leadership is knowing the people you lead and learning what speaks to them. Leadership, therefore, is not something we do in a vacuum. On the contrary, leadership is very much a process focused on people.

How are you connecting with the people you’re leading? You don’t have to bow to their every idea, but find what motivates them and watch your leadership influence increase.

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