Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Are you the pigeon or the statue?

I love the saying that some days you're the statue and some days you're the pigeon. I see this as the truth about inspiration. This was brought home to me the other day on a call with a friend. He mentioned that a certain group he was involved in was no longer inspiring him, I not too gently shared this pigeon and statue principle.

Some days, I am inspired by the company I keep and sometimes it's my job to take the leadership role and inspire. To stay permanently inspired by the company you keep is to have a seriously unrealistic expectation of any community.

I should know, I have spent most of my life leaving communities and relationships that don't inspire me, forgetting this golden rule.

Some days you're the statue and some days you're the pigeon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The power of perspective


* Keeps you going when times are tough.
* Allows you to keep your head when everyone around you is losing theirs.
* Reduces conflict and allows you to mediate tension.
* Is why people meditate.
* Promotes you to leadership positions.
* Allows you to entertain differences of opinion.
* Promotes well informed rapid decision making.

So how do you get it?

I've created this model to suggest 6 ways you can achieve perspective. In short it's about circling an issue in a spherical manner.

See the forest and the trees by developing your perspective.


Monday, October 19, 2009

How to decompress

Sometimes when you switch on your thinking it's hard to switch it off.

I used to work as a wine waiter to get through school. At the end of a ‘switched on shift', once the patrons had gone, the staff would sit and have a drink and chat. They knew from experience that rushing straight home all switched on for 'service', would result in a night of tossing and turning.

I switch into weekends on Saturday morning by baking.

I switch into days off by washing cars.

I switch off at the end of the day with exercise.

Get out of your head and into something basic, something physical or something that commands your attention.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Listen like a leader

Leadership communication requires you to listen, but at different levels.

  • What someone is saying (content)
  • What they are making that mean (concept)
  • What that is really about (context)
Often you need to understand why someone is so against a project. Or, your message is simply not getting through. Often it is because two people are having conversations that seem to be about the same thing (content) but the meaning they are attaching to it (concept) is vastly different.

Do this:

  1. Develop the habit of listening at the 3 levels
  2. Check that you understand their meaning (state it back to them 'so what you mean is… content 1, content 2 and content 3 equal this (concept a) for you!?). If they say no, then listen harder. If they say yes, then..
  3. Identify what that is really about (context), and address that issue without getting caught up in the content.
  4. Ask them if it is possible to consider that content 1-3 could mean something different (preferred concept b)
  5. Get each party to see the contextual driver for each party and your job as a leader is done.

Matt Church