Effective Leaders Always Understand the Perspective of their Audience
Recent research published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal demonstrates that leaders who fail to understand the perspective of their audience are more likely to fail in their efforts to deal with problems and difficult situations.
Adam Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business Management at Columbia Business School, who conducted the study, discovered that Military Leaders, CEOs and Politicians who were better at seeing another person’s point of view, generally had better results with employee engagement and in resolving issues.
Galinsky, in fact, made three additional significant discoveries in his research into effective leadership. Firstly, although taking another’s perspective is important, it doesn’t make any difference if a person isn’t willing to act on this information. Those who are better at seeing other’s people’s points of view are better at “navigating” through problems and difficult situations, but they often lack the drive to be assertive and make the change which they know is necessary for problems to be resolved.
Secondly, the more power you have, the less likely you are able to take into account the perspective of your audience. Leaders have to be mindful that even though their own views have pushed them towards reaching their goals, this may inevitably lead you to sticking to your own viewpoint way too often, reducing the likelihood of you considering another person’s perspective.
Thirdly, those who have power but are also aware of the need to shift away from their own viewpoint, are more likely to be successful effective leaders.
1) They are able to promote an atmosphere where opinions are encouraged. This increase in information sharing leads to better decisions being made, especially when more complex issues are involved.
2) They are able to handle difficult situations better by being able to take into account different points of view. This leads to a greater amount of balance and fairness which means problems are resolved far more effectively.