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Leadership - Knowing when to walk away
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 09/08/2014

Leadership The power of leading is no doubt one of the most impressive influences there is. Sometimes we must learn that in order to lead properly we need to know when to get the hell out of the way so others can discuss and decide which course is best course to recommend and why their choices are better than others. Therefore a good leader must know when to walk out of the room and not look back.

Certainly not a strategy for every occasion it has been effective when the time and place is carefully considered and right. Leaders take air time. They need time to express and show concerns. Their presence dictates the mood or seriousness of the topic and can often set the rhythm for these discussions. A good leader measures his or her air time. It is important not to dominate the conversations or inject too much so not to smother the creativity and innovative spirit of the group.

Most of the time, the less a leader talks, the more gets done. On the other hand, the more a leader listens, the better the job gets done. Sometimes, a leader will walk out the door and ask for input only to return and come back, ready to listen rather than speak.

Encouragement for others to participate is measured by the leader in the room. Inspiration can be delivered by asking questions and showing interest in the matters at hand. Asking questions prompts answers and when the leader listens to these responses, dialogue offers encouragement for all to speak out rather than remain silent.

Asking questions eliminates the permission to speak syndrome that often exists within the meeting room and often silences the group’s responses. Refraining from asking too many questions and making too many comments discourages participation and must be measured.

Sharing the conversation makes the leader accessible to all ideas within the room. Since it is already understood he or she is top dog there is no need to be expressive and run the show. It is more about transmitting and receiving dialogue that is participatory by all and not just a few. There is no need to establish who is the smartest in the room for a good leader can divide the intelligence inside the room and make each participant an equal partner in the discussion.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


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