Inclusive Leadership - An Effective Leadership

On a Friday evening, I was working late in office. I was struggling to fix an issue. That was a complex issue, and I was not finding any solution even after spending many hours on it. I thought to take a break, and decided to work on it after having dinner. I was about to go, when my manager walk over to me, and
He asked: 'Hey mohit, how is it going'.
I said: 'Not that good. We are not reaching anywhere. This issue would take time'.
He said: okkk. But, this is very critical issue and you are not leaving today without fixing it.
Bang.. ! Those words didn't sound good. I thought in my mind 'I can't leave, I am not free to leave..'. I felt bad.
I closed my laptop and told my manager, 'It is 9 pm already. I am tired now. I can't work more today. CU tomorrow..' After saying that, I left the office (sadily)
I reached home. I was very sad. I thought, I could have reacted differently. I was feeling bad, as I never behaved like that with my manager earlier.. I was tensed. I believe my manager would have also felt bad.
Overall, it was an unpleasant experience for both..

Moving to another incidence..

Few months later, in another project, we had similar kind of scenario. Whole team was packing the bags to leave from office on a Friday evening. Our manager came to our area
and said, 'Hey guys, I have a situation here to discuss and I need your help'.
'Help', that word sounds good to ears. As a normal reaction, we asked, 'ok, tell us please'.
He said 'One of the critical functionality is having issue and client is incurring loss due to this. We need to fix it asap'.
As soon as he said this, we understood that we need to stay back. Our mind started thinking of our plans for evening, like movie, outing etc. However, then our manager add more to his previous sentence.
He said 'I know it is already late and you might have some plans already, however, this issue is important and we have to find a solution as a team for this situation. Still if anyone has any commitment which is more important, do let me know. We can discuss and manage that'.

Everyone in team accepted to stay back. Even few of us came forward with different innovative ideas to fix the issue. Bonus point was, manager stayed whole night with us.. cracking jokes, arranging food for us and so on. We stayed there for 30 hours appx and left next day after fixing the issue. We were tired but were not sad. Rather, we enjoyed with each other, and took all the ownership to get the work done.

What was the difference between these two incidents.

In both stories, manager's intention was to get the work done; which was critical for project or organization. There was nothing wrong in that. However, there was a difference..

In first case, manager had made the decision and tried to force that to team. He had not shown the emotional consideration towards the feelings of his team.
In second incident, if you noticed, 'We' word was used more than 'I' or 'you'. Manager explained the situation along with its impact. He tried to involve everyone in the decision and pulled them on a common platform to take a collective call. Moreover, he conveyed it effectively that he understood 'what team is sacrificing i.e. their personal time' and he openly acknolwedged that.

In both the situations, managers were clear that they need team to stay back and work late to control the situation. But how they conveyed the message, that had made a big difference.

The way we communicate, and involve others in decision making has a big impact. It can make the whole environment tensed or can make people work even for 30 hours happily. Supporting your team, making everybody feel involved in decision making and that their opinion is respected, they are valued, is a big trait of successful people managers. When employees feel included at work, they become better team players and more likely to go above and beyond expectations, suggesting new ideas of getting work done. This, for sure, boost overall organizational performance also.

And this is not only applicable in office, but also in our personal life, in day to day dealings.

Good thing is, we have the options to choose. We can choose either first experience or can go for second leadership style. Choose the best..