People person

Be a good listener. Sometimes,
we get caught up in being a
leader who has all the answers
because it’s almost what people
expect. Oftentimes, that’s not
what people are looking for.
They’re looking to be heard.

If they feel that you are listening, that’s what attracts people
to come talk to you. It’s not that
they’re coming to listen to you,
they want to be heard. It’s sitting
there and keeping your mouth
shut and not trying to fix it
immediately or give advice or
jumping to the conclusion that
we can’t do that or go talk to
your manager.

That’s easy to do when you’re
so overwhelmed with work and
pressed with such a short
amount of time and have important deadlines. Developing the
patience to say this, being with
your people and talking is far
more important than any other
task you might have, because all
our successes are accomplished
through the people. That needs
to be your key. Spending time
with people, listening — not just
hearing them — and listening to
them from your heart and soul,
and then being able to develop
the trust by following up and
staying true to your word.

Involve employees in the decision-making process. Have your people involved to get perspectives
from all angles and the pros and
cons.

There’s a point where you
need to make a decision, and
sometimes you can almost get
stuck because there’s risk in
making some decisions. There
gets a point where you need to
stop taking the feedback, stop
the participation and take the
risk to make a decision so you
can move forward.

If you get stuck on that
process and you’re not moving
forward, sometimes you need to
make a step. It doesn’t always
work, and when it doesn’t, you
still have moved forward. You
can always go back and go in a
different direction. But if you’re
stuck in that process, nothing
takes place. The problem continues to happen until you take
action to make a change.

You can see an issue from all
angles. You have buy-in from
people. If they feel they’ve participated, that this was not necessarily their original idea but
they contributed to it, they had
ownership, they feel more committed to making a success of it
or to help you carry it through.
If you can be open to listening
to others, it helps you make a
well-rounded, successful decision.

HOW TO REACH: Miami International University of Art & Design, www.artinstitutes.edu/miami or
(800) 225-9023

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