Here are the 10 questions Kate Nasser asked on her Sunday, Feb 1, 2015 Twitter Chat. This as an opportunity to gain insight about civility and leadership in the workplace.
1. Optimism is best summed up by this quote. “Believe there is good in the world.” The benefit to this approach is that it aligns a person with a mindset of openness to change and a willingness to “Be the good.”
2. Vigilance is about facing reality. It involves asking questions and seeking real solutions to the problems that one faces. The benefits of vigilance only show up when the leader has the ability to face problems before they grow into larger problems. Vigilance is not the same thing as pessimism because two perspectives can be held at the same time: hopefulness and awareness.
3. Yes, vigilance and optimism can co-exist and they are both essential to any leader. However there is a missing piece to the leadership puzzle. The third piece is the ability to take action (if needed) based on the new information gained from the delicate balance between optimism and vigilance.
4. The words that describe a vigilant and optimistic leader are the actions the leader can take. Actions that have an impact on respect for others and help lead to positive working relationships and environments. Actions like: Including others, listening well, speaking up, noticing little things, and even smiling when passing a person in the hallway. For example, a smile is a small action that is vigilant because the leader has his or her head up and is paying attention when they see another person. At the same time this action is optimistic because it is a form of showing respect for the person he or she is passing.
5. When a very optimistic person interacts with a highly vigilant person both people have an opportunity to learn from the perspective of the other person. Realistically, we all probably have an inborn temperament toward vigilance or optimism. It is common in the workplace to think that if a person thinks different than others we should be suspicious or cautious. In reality, we need to reach out and try to understand the perspective of people that think different.
6. Pushing either vigilance or optimism too far could create stagnation and prevent results in the workplace and make the environment less positive or too idealistic. That is why we need each other to balance things out and provide helpful perspective.
7. Great leaders know how to utilize their people skills to balance optimism with vigilance by working with the people around them to learn and grow.
8. Staying optimistic and vigilant can come from having hopeful positive goals and recognizing that results do not just unfold in a linear fashion. Once the goal is set, the leader needs to be vigilant about the current situation so he or she can make adjustments. Instead of just setting a goal and not thinking about it again, one should remain vigilant about focusing on the goal every day.
9. This quote takes vigilance to a level of civic engagement. Liberty requires continued awareness and a sense of hope. In other words, vigilance and optimism both.
10. People skills are essential because they allow us see what others see and find the balance between optimism and vigilance.
The Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa. Here we gather tips for leading (and developing emerging leaders) with civility.