What is Human-Centric Leading?
Human-centric leading (HCL) is an antidote, mindset and toolkit.
It’s an antidote to the problems we frequently face in the workplace. Examples include: reactive decision making, conflict, CJB (criticisms, judgement and blame), an “I’m right, you’re wrong” mentality, miscommunication, low engagement and talent turnover.
It’s a mindset that shifts us from seeing people as replaceable titles or jobs to humans with emotional needs and unlimited potential. Doing so solves many inter-personal problems immediately.
It’s a toolkit to help you know how to cut through the emotional drama that blocks collaboration and innovation.
This image depicts the HCL model in a nutshell. The various toolkits are used in any order, alone or together.
The center of the model reminds us that we must consider the context. Most often, we do not take into consideration how the environments in which we work affect us. In fact, the environments affect the ways we think, feel, behave and the results we can create. For example, imagine how you’d feel and behave at a party with friends and a meeting where blame is thrown around. You’re the same person, but the environment brings out different parts of you. When we consider the context, we can empathize with others and get down to the core problem that needs to be solved.
Changing our mindsets
As we acknowledge context when applying human-centric leading, it’s important to notice how we see people. Instead of seeing them as titles or job functions from whom we must get something, we start to see people as humans with their own needs, agendas, dreams and emotional needs. In doing so, we treat people with the respect they deserve. That vantage point exponentially boosts the likelihood of having a direct and productive conversation.
Then, it’s useful to choose the most effective mindset. Most of the time, we use fast thinking that Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman describes as System 1 thinking which is reactive, habitual and subconscious. As a result, we need to start countering our reactive thinking and respond, instead. Responding helps us make decisions that we do not regret.
From then on, you can use the remaining HCL tools whenever needed (see below for examples).
In what situations can we use the human-centric leading toolkits?
When to Question Emotions
This tool is best used in face of emotional drama such as frustration, agitation, conflict, arguing and unproductive meetings.
During those times, you use your emotions to inform your decisions. If everyone is frustrated by working hard and gleaning little reward, as an example, it’s time to figure out whether the approach, goal or timing needs to be right-sized to get everyone back into flow.
When to Meet Needs
This tool is best used to unblock progress.
During those times, you can ask “What do you need to feel resourceful and do your best in this situation” and then a useful discussion flows with ideas. Suddenly, you’re unstuck and can work until you hit a next road block for you identify what is needed to resume progress.
When to use Access Wisdom
This tool is best used when (1) you’re lost in the details, (2) you are caught up in an “I’m right, you’re wrong mentality,” (3) you need to distance yourself from your own or the team’s emotions or (4) you’re stuck without knowing what to do next.
You can easily access wisdom by asking yourself or others, “What would a wise person do in this situation?” and then watch progress flow.
Using human-centric leading helps you fix team culture problems and design a culture that attracts and retains the best and brightest, empowering them to do their best work along the way. For more information, see our website.
If you’re interested in talking to us about how we can help you boost your team’s effectiveness by humanizing the culture, please contact us.