Alan, an engineering electrical master control designer at a sawmill equipment manufacturing company in Salmon Arm, BC told Session 6 of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
“The person I chose as my pearl was an individual I’ve worked with for quite a few years. I will call him “Bob”. Although I’ve never had a bad working relationship with Bob, it could be frustrating. Bob had the tendency to be negative, overly-critical, and at times I felt like he was talking about me behind my back. Over the years I had just gotten numb to it and didn’t let it bother me that much. At session 2 when we received our pearl assignment, I decided it was time to make a change. I wanted to create some friendly interaction and positive conversations between us, so I started to drop by his office when I could take the opportunity to make a moment. This was a way to employ Leadership Principle #2, show genuine interest. I was determined to avoid the 3C’s (Leadership Principle #3), don’t criticize, condemn or complain, by avoiding negative topics and what or who’s not working. I just kept our conversation light. The third leadership principle I applied was #4, provide acknowledgement. Bob is quite knowledgeable and very good at his job. He is meticulous and thorough on his projects, which in turn makes my part of our projects much easier. I made the point of letting him know I appreciated the work he does and how it helps make my job easier.
“Since I started applying these leadership principles with Bob, I’ve noticed a change in his attitude. He is more calm and constructive in our interactions on projects.
This is still a work in progress but as long as I continue to respectfully apply these leadership principles with Bob, I feel confident my relationship with him will
continue to improve.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that genuine interest can go a long way and believing in and acting on the leadership principles can make a significant difference, a meaningful positive change in my relationship.
“The action I call you to take, is make an effort to use these leadership principle, start by becoming genuinely interested in others. Show heart felt appreciation for the important part others play in supporting you to make your job easier.
“The benefit you will gain is a better relationship with your “Pearl” and everyone else you decide to apply these principles with. You will have less stress and things will simply go easier.”
As you read this story I’m sure it becomes apparent who had to change first. It is worth noting that before Alan’s pearl changed, and have no doubt about it there was real change, Alan first had to change his approach; he had to become the “active ingredient” in this relationship. He took the lead and when he did, he got a result that made his life easier and more enjoyable.