I have been reading the new book, The CEO Next Door, by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell. In today’s reading, I came across the phrase “become of detective.” The context of this speaks of when a leader is trying connect with their team, stakeholders, board members, customers, etc. Becoming a detective means to work to truly understand the other person’s perspective so great decisions can be made and meaningful directions can be set and navigated.
So what do the authors state as the key elements of becoming a detective?
- Ask questions. Become curious. Asking versus telling will help you learn so much more about the other person’s values, needs, wants, concerns, etc.
- Engage intellectually. No simple patronizing nods. Ask more probing questions. Follow up. Follow through.
- Listen. Engaging intellectually means you are actively listening and asking great questions based upon what you have heard. Listening communicates to the other person you are investing in them – right now.
- Gather information to understand. Don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Your actions of asking/listening are the vital part of your information gathering. And all of that should lead to better understanding the situation.
- Harness what matters to them. Nothing frustrates customers/team members more as when a leader appears to have listened and then acts in a way that seems to ignore all of the previous interactions. If you truly want to connect with your customers/team members, harness what matters to them based upon your interactions with them.