September 2014 Newsletter
Have you taken the time to sit and have a real think about what your leadership does for others?
Perhaps this is too scary a thought to contemplate.
Well, the other day, I decided to think about how I worked with others and gain some insight from them about what my interaction has done with them. This then posed some new questions, “what to ask” “who to ask” ”what will they say”
So before letting my doubts subvert my curiosity I decided to send off a reasonably short questionnaire with six main questions.
1. What golden thread is throughout Peter, what is Peter about?
2. Strengths what you have noticed Peter does well and what does he do exceptionally?
3. What does Peter need to watch out for? (Potential pitfalls weaknesses)
4. What Peter would benefit most from given your experiences of him that would stretch and develop him?
5. Any further thoughts?
6. Five words that describe Peter as a coach / mentor?
What I hoped for was some feedback; some praise (well I am human after all) and some things I need to look out for,
What it reinforced for me was:
• having a sense of ease
• knowing that I am appreciated
• getting recognition, thank yous and being thoughtful
Most of the time we underestimate the exceptional work we do. We have been brought up to look for gaps, improvement, through what’s missing rather than what we’ve achieved, what we know, and what’s been gained.
Recently I attended a group undertaking an overview of Nancy Kline’s work,Time toThink-Listening-Ignite-Human which is about creating a thinking environment and having time to think.
Some of the key principles are:
• Everything we do depends for its quality on the thinking we do first. Our thinking depends on the quality of our attention for each other
• Thinking at its best is not just a cool act of celebration it is also a thing of the heart
• A thinking environment is a set of ten conditions under which human beings can think for themselves with rigour and imagination, courage and grace
In coaching we talk about being present and having presence this is about the close attention we pay to what is being said and the gaps in between, sometimes this is referred to as being in the moment or working with whatever comes up.
Whilst I’m on the topic of thinking I wonder how much of organisation’s thinking is really fit for the 21st centaury. Previously I have talked about talent and recognition and how the talent and the talented may be two different approaches or organisatons to take
To quote Dan Pink from “the puzzle of motivation” (Ted talk) there is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.
Autonomy, mastery and purpose are the building blocks of the new systems for business success examples of this are engineers having free time to work on blue sky ideas; this builds motivations, increases innovation and desire to achieve.
The carrot and stick approach works only with simplistic tasks however in today’s age tasks are not simple, so now what we need is motivation that expands our mind, grows our curiosity and increases our ability to solve the uncertain and mystifying.
For the individual the first step of creating autonomy, mastery and purpose is to use some of the latest lessons from our discoveries about the brain
So the latest neuroscience suggests you can literally “adjust” your memory. You choose the experiences you decide to remember and how you wish to remember them.
To emphasis the value of a human authentic and appreciative leader who has autonomy, mastery and purpose he / she is able to
1) See clearly
2) Hear correctly
3) Think clearly
4) Inquire critically
5) Show respect
6) Maintain calm
7) Consider consequences
8) Create desirable outcomes
9) Do what is right
10) Give credit and step aside
Many of my examples are about engineers which was my initial training and having worked with so many over the years I have noticed the innovation and process skills that get things done. Recently I have been working with some artists and highly creative individuals and a synergy has developed.
Our intention is to use these convergent and divergent skills to create a unique development programme for all those who act as coaches either internally, in a leadership role or an external coach.
The programmes tentative tile is “The artist and the engineer” coaching authentically in the 21st century”
Details coming soon
I hope this newsletter has sparked some reaction and provoked some thoughts about your own leadership style. For those who want to be provoked further and am very happy to help you along the way