A Reflection on Theory U
This is a short analysis/reflection of Dr. Eva Fabraquel (DepEd Region-6 District Supervisor) on the Topic “Theory U: Leading from the future as it emerges”.
Frame U defines how the mechanics of what leadership should be all about. It gives a more in-depth scale and perspective as to how to fine-tune yourself to become more connected to people so you can effectively lead them and guide them in their tasks.
Leadership is different than what meets the eye, it involves you being conscious with intent to interconnect and grow yourself on other’s perspectives.
We have this thing called a “Blind Spot” in terms of leadership at which we almost always overlook – it is the simplest of things and gestures that we need to keep in mind in order to become a more effective leader.
Unlike being a boss, leadership is somewhat molding a person from the ground up with the purpose to develop autonomy; being able to work independently, stand on their own two feet, and develop their own way on how to understand different concepts. First we have to learn how to understand these people as a leader.
In order to understand them, we must be active listeners. And as we listen, we should acknowledge the statements that they are carrying out in order to make them feel that their opinions are valued.
First is downloading, where you politely confirm the knowledge that you already know. Second is factual, a phase at which you pay attention to the things and facts that they are saying. Next is empathetic. You should show that you care about what they are saying.
Through this, you will develop rapport and a “comfortable aura” that will make them more comfortable when they are talking to you. Lastly is the Generative. It is a deeper form of communication that connects your experience with the one you are talking to. This type of listening skill is much more complex compared to empathy, and it shows that you genuinely are listening to that individual by reconfirming (stating what you already know about him/her) and saying expressions that will make them feel valued.
There are multiple levels of attention and the scale of listeners that you have with you. Each field requires different levels of attention, listening type, responses, and end-points.
There are times where you’ll be a leader of a very small group, times when you’ll lead a small focus group, a time where you’ll lead an institution, and a time where you’ll lead countless of people; at one point in our lives, we should adjust accordingly on how to respond from where we are currently operating.
The process U starts with the intent to stop, and just listen to what others have to say, take them seriously and take it to heart. Always acknowledge and confirm what they are saying – repeat it if you have to in order to show your sincerety. After that, we must process, internalize, and assess what the people are trying to say. After gathering those thoughts, we must break it down piece by piece and then try to get the good bits of what they want for the future.
After that, we should try to become the epitomes (living examples) of what their ideals are. Start becoming their aspiration so you can be a good example for them to follow. Lastly, show them that you are acting as a collective entity of their thoughts. These will then become the best foundations for you as a leader in the times to come.