Insight, the fourth SurTHRIVELeadership element, is all about looking below the surface. It’s about looking for patterns in the subtext of ordinary and extraordinary things, finding connections that weren’t obvious at the outset. To provide insight, one must seek the why’s or how’s of a certain event to give a new perspective on the problem and ultimately offer a different approach toward the solution.
To clarify, insight is not about sheer knowledge. Yes, it’s important to have the facts, but more valuable, practical information is learned from analyzing the causes and effects of those facts and their relation to one another. Anytime the past has been improved on in the future, it’s resulted from applying insight rather than just raw data.
This distinction runs parallel to the concepts of cognitive and emotional intelligence that we covered in the second blog. Someone who has developed good emotional intelligence isn’t prone to simply taking a situation at face value, especially if it involves their personal life, their work life, or their area of expertise. They realize that seeking and responding to the motives behind our actions is more effective than reacting to the actions themselves.
It’s easy to translate this into the corporate world; our emotions can often get the better of us when working as a part of a team. We get so wrapped up in the importance of getting our job done that when our teammates do something irrational that makes this mission harder for us, we can’t help but respond out of frustration. We rely on this emotional tension to find a solution that returns us to the way things were before at all costs.
That’s why a big part of being insightful involves putting yourself in others’ shoes. Aside from using objective information to solve a problem, considering it from the perspective of your colleagues gives you a full picture and a better understanding of their unique thought process. Tackling the issue then becomes a well-informed, unified effort that avoids unnecessary conflict.
Coming soon, we’ll be talking about the fifth element of SurTHRIVE: Vigor.