youth worker, youth ministry, leadership, student ministry, student leadership

Leaders Understand Others Perspective

By Doug Franklin October 31, 2012

For leaders to work well with their followers they must be able to understand the perspectives of other people.  When we are solely focused on our own perspective, we miss how our followers are feeling.  This leads to defensiveness and divisive behavior.  When we see the world from our follower’s perspective we will be able to understand the motives of other people and therefore be better equipped to lead them.

 A basic principle to understanding the actions and motivations of people is that perception equals reality.  In other words, my view of life is how I define my reality.  All of us look at life through lenses that is colored by our personality, experiences, temperament, etc.  Because we believe in our perception so strongly, it truly becomes our reality.  It is essential for a leader to realize that the reality of their followers may be very different from their own.

Every time our followers or another leader hurts our feelings, we have a choice to make.  We can either choose to care for the other person, understand their perspective, and work the situation out, or blame the other person and rationalize our behavior.  When we blame others we can become the victim.  It allows us to rationalize our pain and place the blame on others.  Caring for others requires us to stop blaming others and take personal responsibility.  We must recognize where we are wrong and take ownership.  Understanding others’ viewpoints is the best way to increase our influence.  Our followers will feel valued and cared for.  We will build consensus with other leaders.  It will make us more transformational.



About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More