Leadership+Resilience

Insights

The intersection of your feelings and the data

When you are flight training, one of the training exercises is recovering from unusual attitudes. This means getting the airplane back to wings level from a spiraling descent, or a turning power off ascent, or some other combination of unusual circumstances the airplane may someday find itself in (usually because of pilot error). The issue is that sometimes your body believes the airplane is doing one thing, but the instruments are saying the airplane is doing another. The whole goal of the exercise is to learn how to ignore the body in favor of the instruments. In essence, to ignore your feelings (sorry Obi Wan), and react to the data. This is hard to do as a pilot, and it’s hard to do as a leader. Often, we have a feeling about what is going on with our team. What we feel, though, may not supported by the data. So what do we do? Blame the bad data. Because we can’t possibly be wrong, right??? There may be another path. Put your feelings aside and go deeper on the data. Figure out what is bothering you by examining the exact intersection of your feeling and the data. Your gut may be right sometimes, but the data should have a bigger seat at the table.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on February 28, 2019

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