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Leadership Lessons A-Z: Jump to Judiciousness

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Many times, especially in tense or stressful situations, people jump to judgment. It is easy to take the information we think we know right now and reach a conclusion, make a decision, or issue a decree. Often, however, we realize after the fact that we did not have all of the information we needed, or our perception included some fallacies. In those moments, we recognize the importance of acknowledging our mistakes and may even need to apologize for hurried words or actions.

As leaders, we are unafraid of apologizing, of righting a wrong. However, we strive to be better each day, and do not want to cause a situation requiring an apology in the future because we were abrupt, unkind, or rushed to judgment. Those moments can hurt people. A leader’s intent is to build people up; however, our injudiciousness does not allow us to be our best selves, or inspire others to greatness.

Judiciousness is defined as good judgment; using wisdom and discernment in situations where we must form an opinion or make a decision. Judiciousness requires us to pause, to take a few moments to consider the information we have and where we might have information gaps. Judiciousness allows us to consider the ramifications of our response, in word and in deed.

Leaders want to be wise. We want to provide sound advice, speaking words of encouragement to others as we guide and mentor them. We hope to respond with soundness, providing actions plans in moments of crisis that create role clarity while resolving the situation at hand. Reactions are often rooted in judgment; we react to a person or situation based on a judgment we made that triggered an emotion and caused us to reply. Responding allows us a moment, however brief, to gather our thoughts, determine the appropriate level of emotion, and then provide the feedback required of us at the time.

What do we model? If we react, we often model judgment, which can be harsh and unfeeling. Judgment can stop us from listening and observing objectively, or from seeing the broader picture of how all the people and pieces fit together. If we respond, we are more likely to model judiciousness. Judiciousness provides an opportunity for us to listen, to observe, and to consider the people and pieces individually and collectively.

The leadership lesson? Jumping to judgment can create harm in our relationships. Taking a few moments to pause, to request information and listen, and to think through the consequences of our words and actions can help us to be judicious. Leaders, as we care for and lead others we must stop jumping to judgment. Instead, we must be willing to jump to judiciousness.

Leadership Lessons A-Z: Help to Hope

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Hope is a feeling of expectation, a desire for a particular thing to happen. It is an optimistic state of mind. Most people want to feel hopeful – hopeful in their jobs, their relationships, their goals, hopeful for the future.

Sometimes, though, it is hard to hope. When the job is overwhelming, the culture toxic, or the environment unsupportive or harsh, hope seems distant. Those moments are when leaders must step in, communicating with positivity and passion. When we demonstrate continued commitment, we help others to hope. We provide a renewed sense of purpose, a feeling of significance, a camaraderie amongst the worn and weary.

How does hope help? When people have hope, they persevere. Circumstances may be challenging, but if we can cling to the hope of a brighter tomorrow we will continue to work towards our goals. The outcome may appear bleak, but as long as we have a glimmer of hope that the tide may turn in our favor, we will press onward. Hope fuels us to do more, to be better.

Sometimes, when struggles come, people need to be reminded to hope. Hope isn’t easy. Hope has to be replenished. Hope requires people to opt in, to look at the bright side, to see the opportunity. This is why leaders must help. To help is to make it easier for someone; we have to make it easier for people to have hope.

Where does hope come from? Hope stems from a belief in our mission. A sense of purpose, of rightness in what we’re doing. Hope rises when leaders are authentic, open about the challenges but optimistic about the opportunities. Hope increases when leaders celebrate successes and embrace new ideas. Hope provides a foundation for people to then be creative, communicative, and collaborative.

Is hope really that important? Absolutely yes. Without hope, people become complacent. They perform the functions of their position out of habit rather than engaging in their role in order to achieve goals or see success. Without hope, people become negative, waiting for the impending doom of loss – whether loss of revenue, loss of position, or even loss of the business altogether. Without hope, people assume the worst, and then begin preparing for it. A loss of hope instills a loss of engagement.

We rely on hope! Hope keeps us looking forward and moving onward. Hope is the key that unlocks our ambition and opens the gate to our willingness to try, to dream, to aspire. Without hope, we wither. With hope, we thrive.

The leadership lesson? Communicate with purpose and passion, inspiring others to the shared vision. When we can look to the future together, we have hope. Leaders, we must help those around us to hope.