A Leader’s Reflection Log – Week 9 – Wedding Anniversary Edition

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Intro – what is this and why?

I strongly believe that to improve as a leader or at anything in this life you need to reflect on yourself. You need to be willing to dig up those failures and put them up on a wall to analyse what you did wrong, why you did it and what you could do better. This is what I plan on doing using this blog. Every week I am going to dive into my work as a leader and identify where I can improve. I will be honest in order to learn and to hopefully inspire others to learn and grow as well.

To read more about the importance of feedback and retrospectives check this post out!

This week was my wedding anniversary of 4 years! Exciting times. So I thought I would do something a little different and highlight what my wife has taught me over the last year in terms of strengths and weaknesses. I think I have been really blessed as I have a life-long partner who is always open, caring and candid. She always gives me open and honest feedback which I value greatly.

The good

Marriage has actually taught me a lot about emotional intelligence. My wife thinks differently to me, she experiences different emotions, in different ways and in different circumstances. I have learnt to be a good listener and can now better anticipate her emotional triggers. I now have a good grasp of how a particular action or circumstance will make her feel. I believe this has translated well into my leadership abilities and allowed me to really come alongside my team, grasp their pain points and how they feel, allowing me to build a firm foundation of trust.

Read some more about how you can become better at emotional intelligence here – it really is a central aspect to effective leadership and works hand in hand with effective communication.

The bad

Arrogance. I think generally I am quite humble but I can be very arrogant with regards to my intellect. In my marriage, I can make my wife feel patronised or disregarded because my arrogance lifts me up on a pedestal and says I know best. This can be super destructive to relationships, especially when leading teams. If I let my arrogance dictate decisions and solutions then I will forsake great ideas that the team might come up with and will actually decrease our chances of success. In Ray Dalios principle 3.2e he says this:

“Recognize that to gain the perspective that comes from
seeing things through another’s eyes, you must suspend
judgment for a time—only by empathizing can you properly
evaluate another point of view.”

Basically, in order to see things from someone else’s view, you must suspend your opinions and your judgement. Leave your own ideas at the door and immerse yourself in the other person’s view. If you don’t then you might be inclined to butt in and invalidate someone’s perspective. I think one way I can do this is to just spend more time listening and not be too hasty to provide my views no matter how much better I might think they are. It is important to actually try and understand and immerse myself in someone’s perspective before starting to tell them why my way is better.

The ugly

Swans are weddingee right? Well here is a swan ugly duckling…

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