We are often so busy getting things done that we don’t take the time to get to really understand each other. A lot of our communication can be about the tasks that need to get done rather than getting to know each other’s passions, dreams and motivations. Making decisions based on skills is important but it’s not everything. Self-awareness and shared values are also important. When your team members really listen to each other they can make real, lasting change. There are many ways you can help them reach their potential, here are just a few.
High levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence are key to leading change in our complex world. Making change is easier when you understand how your own behaviour impacts on others. That change is more likely to be sustainable when you understand the motivations of the people you are working with and the people you are trying to influence. Emerging Voices teaches self-awareness through the Enneagram system of personality types. The Enneagram is a system of nine personality types that helps us understand ourselves better.
Understanding your own values is also part of self-awareness. We don’t walk around naming up our values. They are often made visible through our behaviour and our conversations. In teams clashes can often be the result of conflicts in values without even realising it. Understanding the collective values held by teams can help shape the culture of the team. Culture is ‘the way we do things round here’, and is where we need to focus our attention if we are to achieve meaningful, sustainable change.
Listening is a core skill not just for leadership but for our professional and personal lives. We live in noisy world and have noisy minds. For many of us it is rare that we stop, pay attention and take the time to really listen, to ourselves and to others. Emerging Voices teaches the Theory U framework for listening which has four levels:
We listen to what we already know from the past, from our habits. We reconfirm what we already know – our opinions and judgments.
2. Factual listening
We notice what is actually different from what we expected to see. Scientists spend their time in this mode of listening, testing theories.
3. Empathic listening
We see the situation through the eyes of another. This leads to an emotional connection to the experience of the other person. We listen from the place from where the other person is speaking from.
4. Generative listening
We hold the space for others, like good coaches do, and help them connect with their emerging selves. Great teachers and leaders don’t see you in terms of only your past, they see you in terms of your highest future possibility.
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