Originally published on Forbes.com
Your success as a business leader will most likely come down to a series of human moments. What are human moments? That’s what I call those unpredictable events when our humanity really comes to the surface.
I have had so many managers and leaders tell me that those human moments are what they dread most about their role. They say things like, “I’d love my job if I didn’t have to deal with people.” They see those human moments as curveballs, distractions, or even sabotage.
It’s sad that leaders aren’t taught to make the most of human moments, because in trying to avoid dealing with human nature they are missing out on the greatest potential for human performance.
Human Moments don’t Require Coddling
Being human and having human moments doesn’t make anyone weak and it doesn’t mean people need coddling. In fact, as any leader who thrives on these moments knows, they actually bring out people’s greatest strengths in unexpected ways.
Not only do you not need to coddle anyone, most of the time no amount of coddling, parenting, or nurturing is going to make the most of a human moment. It’s understanding the human needs that created that moment and rising to meet those needs in a way that allows the humans involved to deliver their most inspired and effective work regardless of the circumstances.
Human Moments Turn on Human Needs
At our core we’re all human, and there are some universal commonalities about human nature. Human moments rise out of that nature, but the inception point for whether that moment turns into lead or gold hinges on six basic human needs: clarity, connection, contribution, consideration, challenge, and confidence. If those needs aren’t being met the potential of the human moment is lost. But a leader can become a true hero when they use these 6 Facets of Human Needs™ as a foundation for everything from building their culture to responding to crisis.
A Human Moment is Always an Opening for Something Better
When you are a leader that thrives on moments like these, you're always seeing them as an opportunity to make things better than they are. If it's a beautiful human moment, you're thinking about how to magnify it so that it's even better, more meaningful, more enjoyable, more inspiring. If you have a tough human moment, you're thinking about how you can use it as an inception point to turn things around.
For truly great leaders, human nature is not the part of the job they hate or dread or the thing they're paid to work around, overcome, or make up for. For those leaders it’s a passion to be able to transform human moments into pure, priceless gold and they do it by being in tune with the natural needs of the humans on their team and by meeting those needs with authenticity and consistency.