Another keynote, another example of predictable group behavior.
British psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion was a brilliant guru of group behavior who wrote distressingly long and brain numbingly dull treatises on the subject. Fortunately for us, my pal Pat Murray is a superb translator of Bion and makes that important work accessible.
One of the things Murray explains is that in any group – regardless of the station in life, intelligence, experience or any other descriptor that might seem to identify groups and group members – certain behaviors will arise. In a simple example, there will always be the talker, the person who responds first to every question or who seems to need to expound at great length at every opportunity. There will also be the quiet one who is most reluctant to have his/her voice heard.
So it is in your shop. The thing you need to do as the leader is to bring out the brilliance, wisdom and creativity of everyone. That means you have to make room for the quiet ones to speak and do it without stifling the natural inclination of the talker to contribute. That is a bit of a dance, but here is the essence of how to do that successfully: Do it with respect. And without an emotional load.
If you want your people’s best, you will have to make room for all of it.
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