Ego Management

The Harvard Business Review recently asked Yo-Yo Ma, one of the world’s most accomplished classical cellists, what he thought the key to fruitful collaboration was across the genres of classical, jazz, bluegrass and other musical interests he pursues.

His answer:  ego management.

Here is Yo-Yo-Ma’s secret in his own words that he has learned to say the following:

“If you think different than I do, let me put myself in your shoes and see what’s successful according to you, and then you do the same for me”.

Minds are then opened.

No need to fear differing viewpoints.

And you instantly have two potential solutions just for considering each other’s opinion.

Why are we so threatened to hear someone disagree with us?

Or to propose something we never thought of?

How many meetings have you attended where the moderator was not interested in the individual minds of those present and more interested in getting others to think like her or him?

The secret to ego management is to never forget that for everything we think, believe, would like to do or have accomplished, someone else may see it differently.

Nothing is more humbling.

Or healthier for our relationships.

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