Leadership Lesson: Bridge versus Barrier

It’s easy to say what a leader should be. We look at our politicians, business leaders, county government leaders and we make judgments. We see their shortcomings and their mistakes. Why is it so easy to know what someone else ought to be doing?

Here’s why: Because when you are judging others you are looking out the window. When you judge yourself you have to look in the mirror. Looking in the mirror is an act of courage because you are no longer living in the workshop, you are living life.

When you examine your own behavior, and your own language, ask yourself this question: Through my language and behavior, am I a bridge or a barrier?

A bridge or barrier to what you ask?

  • To better relationships
  • To teamwork
  • To understanding
  • To empowerment
  • To excellence

No matter what your title or level of authority, each day you have the power to either build bridges or build barriers.

Through your social media posts, language, and actions, you have an opportunity to consciously choose how you show up in your world: As a bridge or as a barrier.  Here’s how you make the distinctions:

Bridge = Seeking to understand
Barrier = Arguing your point

Bridge = Kindness
Barrier = Sarcasm

Bridge = Forgiving
Barrier = Hating

Bridge = Grace
Barrier = Judgment

Bridge = Praising
Barrier = Gossiping

Bridge = Inviting
Barrier = Excluding

Bridge = Learning
Barrier = Labeling

Notice what starts to build the bridge or the barrier is the way you think and the way you feel.

In my first commercially published book Stop Workplace Drama I introduced a concept: The way you think and the way you feel about another person changes the relationship.

With our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we become a bridge or a barrier. Barriers create drama.

Be a bridge.