This week, I’m talking with leaders about their real-life, day to day experience. And that’s what’s interesting about a crisis – for many people it helps bring focused attention. Here’s a metaphor: Facing a clear and present danger can be like when I am bird watching and I hear a sharp call. Spinning the wheel of the binoculars, the rest of the forest drops away and I get tightly focused on important details – I look directly at what I need to see,
Leaders I coach are interested in staying connected with their teams. For some, this desire to connect is alongside a desire to empower. “I don’t want to be seen as micro-managing, especially now when the pandemic is causing stress.” With remote work there is the added challenge of not being able to just casually “pop in” but having to schedule time to meet.
Coaches are trained to connect with people, often virtually, and sometimes without any prior relationship. In our personal lives,
I’m talking with leaders these days about how best to approach people. It’s a mystery for some why they can work effectively, almost effortlessly, with certain members of their team but feel misaligned with others. It’s tempting when this happens to say: “it’s them, not me” and to just shrug it off as having different personalities or styles. Unfortunately, OD research shows that, within a team, it’s natural for a leader to have an in-group and out-group. Conscious leaders want to overcome their bias toward and against people and they want to have healthy and productive relationships with everyone.
I’m facilitating a Coaching Circle – a really diverse group of leaders from different industries and with varied responsibilities. We are talking about how leaders build strong relationships with others. One person in the group uses the new framework with a difficult peer, another in a team meeting, another with their boss, another with their teenager. Suddenly, something that is interesting on the page becomes tangible and real. We feel commonality in our leadership journey.
I love group coaching.
Most leaders, if they choose to, will admit that they get along better with some people on their team. True for all of us human beings. The good leaders I coach feel a responsibility to change that. They want to ensure the people with whom they “just click” aren’t privileged by it. They want to be fair. Rather than ask others to bend to suit their nature, good leaders know they need to adapt and respond to each person. Just as they adapt to changing market and industry conditions,