An Audience of One

An Audience of One

Have you noticed when you tell a joke that if no one laughs you fall flat. If just one person laughs then you have a follower and you feel vindicated. The joke is funny, the others just don’t know it yet. I always think the best jokes are ones where first one gets it, then others start to laugh as they also get it. The kind of jokes that rely on intelligent thinking.
Or if you do a speech and someone asks a question, or someone afterwards thanks you in appreciation that something you said touched them.
You only need one person to be appreciative to feel that your time has not been wasted, that your effort has not been in vain.
And when you stand up to be counted, that is when you put yourself in the firing line…..where you may not get a laugh, or a question. That is dangerous. It is risky.
Now spin that round to you being the one who laughs, or the one who appreciates what someone has said especially when what they say is different, contentious….dare I say innovative.
Appreciation of other people and what they contribute, especially when they do or say something a bit different is essential to encourage innovation. Everybody in a team can innovate, and everybody can appreciate. As a leader you must be prepared to be that audience for the innovators in your team.
Innovators are leaders, and so are people who appreciate the innovators.
Be an audience for your team.

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