How taking Multiple Perspectives helps build common ground?
March 31, 2023
Managers have a tough job because they have to listen to a lot of different opinions from every corner. Everyone wants the manager to listen to them and do what they want. This can be a big problem for managers. In this edition of The Top newsletter, we will talk about how managers can balance these multiple perspectives.
Coordinating across different stakeholders is one of the critical functions of a manager. In doing so, they have to have often conversations on the same issues with seemingly different people, who unsurprisingly have differing opinions too. It becomes challenging when the team members and upper management view things in entirely opposite directions. So how do you, as a manager, make them match?
The key lies in understanding their perspectives. Then, as the idiom goes, step into their shoes and walk a mile! When managers recognize their teams well, they can make decisions with more surety and bring about a higher level of collaboration. It helps build trust and creates excellent interpersonal relationships. The first step to getting this right is active listening.
Active listening is the process of listening with complete attention and engagement toward the person speaking to you. Focus on their words and what they say and do not say through nonverbal cues to get the message right. A great way to make active listening effective is by asking questions.
For instance, if a team member is talking about an issue they are repeatedly facing, you can ask them to elaborate with an example like – “Could you give me an example of how this process works in practice?” Of course, that’s one of the many ways to use questions to understand others better. You can also use active listening questions in one-on-one catch-ups and brainstorming sessions to better understand your team members’ perspectives.
Jump here for 20+ active listening questions that make managers better listeners!
Besides being a good listener, it also helps to know where your team members are coming from. Understanding your team members personally will help you cultivate a solid interpersonal relationship, where you can see things from their point of view much more easily. However, questions to know your team members can also deviate into awkward small talk! Hence, it’s best to think of a few ahead of time and start knowing your team well.
Suppose you have a new team member, Samantha, who joined the marketing team as a junior copywriter. She is excited to start her new job, but she quickly realizes that the team has a very fast-paced work environment, and everyone seems to have their way of doing things. Samantha struggles to keep up with the workload and the team’s expectations, and she also feels a bit intimidated by her more experienced colleagues.
While a manager may note that Samantha is relatively underperforming and avoids socialization, a great manager will resolve the issue. The first step of which is understanding the situation as Samantha sees it. A manager can ask, “What sort of work culture do you thrive in?” or “What training or development opportunities do you think would benefit you?”
Asking questions is a great way to understand who your team members are and learn more about them. It is especially beneficial for new managers and new team members.
Don’t be like Jules. Ask away all your questions and encourage your team to ask questions. 😂
Check out more interesting questions to know your team better here.
Listening correctly and understanding the people you are communicating with form the basis of effectively getting multiple perspectives as a team manager. But the journey does not end there. With these insights, managers need to work to create a common ground where all can cooperate, thus fulfilling their core role of being the ultimate coordinator.
Managers need to ensure that they are open to new ideas and even challenges and simultaneously create a space of openness and freedom to speak one’s minds. When multiple #perspectives come on board, the richness of ideas makes innovation and creativity like none other!
Doing wonders in a managerial role might be hard work, yet the result justifies the effort. #Managers who can understand and incorporate multiple perspectives in their processes, such as #decisionmaking and #goalsetting, can create balanced #teams. Moreover, their personal brand is an effective one. If this journey throws in some challenges, Risely – your co-pilot for all people #management challenges – is here.