LEADING PEOPLE

Leadership is an interactive conversation that pulls people toward becoming comfortable with the language of personal responsibility
and commitment.

Since ‘coaching’ is a leadership competency, here are five principles
that guide respectful conversations.

1. When peers connect change happens. Effective coaching can
happen on the dance floor of conversation.

2. It’s OK to begin a conversation by confronting the other person
with questions that seem awkward but set the stage for a respectful
exchange. Why waste time on small talk? Just ask to-the-point
information-seeking questions, like: ‘What are you here for?
How do you want to spend our time together?’

3. Conversations are not meant to be structured. Be open to
conversations that you are unprepared for and focused on the
interests of the other person (not your purpose).

4. Don’t get pulled into solving problems that may not matter to
the other person. Allow time for the person to get to what’s really
important. Provide spaces where they can express their doubts and
fears by being a thoughtful listener–without taking on the responsibility
to fix or debate the issue. After all, you have invited the person to talk
about what matters to her or him, not you, so allow time for the
articulation of those thoughts and feelings.

5. Personal transformation happens when the right questions get
asked–not by providing answers. When you focus on the solution,
you are trying to sell the person something. When you allow people
to answer their own questions, they discover what they were not aware
of—and what is needed to move forward.

Personal transformation leads corporate transformation and ultimately national transformation — one person at a time.

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