What results do your conversations produce?

Lost and Confused Signpost
I’m facilitating an executive coaching dialogue with a client who is expressing some frustration as a result of a blowup he had with another senior leader the week before.  Our exploration led him to recognize he goes about his day with general ideas on what he wants to get done.  He goes into his conversations with his ideas, opinions, reactions, assumptions and conclusions about what’s going on for others in the face of getting things done and dealing with everyday challenges.  This leaves little space for others to share their experiences and contribute to the conversation.  It was a privilege to facilitate his discovery about how his opinions, conclusions and assumptions impact people and his conversations, and specifically; the results his conversations do or don’t produce.
One of the principles in Fierce Conversations® is to “take responsibility for your emotional wake”.   Not unlike a boat creates a wake in the water, we (each of us) and our conversations create an emotional wake with people.  How do you and your conversations leave people?  — In an aftermath or a state of empowerment?  Access to leaving people empowered and you being effective requires being purposeful, intentional and/or deliberate.  How often are you deliberate in your interactions?  How purposeful are you as you engage in your work each day?
A tool to use at the “speed of life”….
1, 2, 3: Now!™

  1. Stop – Take stock of your thoughts, feelings & attitude(s) as you leave the last time block (interaction and/or experience)
  2. Identify the Next Time Block (Interaction and/or Experience)  – Consider who & what this next interaction involves; presence your thoughts, feelings & attitude
  3. Create an intention/purpose for what you want to accomplish in this next block of time (Interaction and/or Experience) I’m committed to / I’d love to / want to… Be, Do, Have

My challenge to you is use this tool each morning for 30 days.  Let me know your results and experiences.
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Choice is a Function of Awareness!

The problem with communication … is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

George Bernard Shaw

The more aware you are about what is happening for you (on the inside); the more options you will have to be responsive in your communication and interactions with others.  We all have triggers that cause us to automatically react – like when pushed or attacked, we automatically shift into fight or flight mode to find ourselves pushing back (defending, attacking, etc).  Simply said, we all have blind spots as it’s not easy to see ourselves objectively.
We also have personal meanings attached to certain words and phrases.  Just yesterday, I was speaking with someone about being responsible for what happens in one’s life; and I specifically said “I’m not talking about fault and blame which is how I believe people think about responsibility; I’m talking about standing in the space of having personal power in the face of any circumstance”.  He says to me, “It’s not your fault when something in your life happens that is completely out of your control.”   Initially, it was somewhat of a circular conversation as his meaning of “responsibility” is fault and blame and mine is personal power.  Adding to that, there is an “occurring” or experience of each other in the conversation.  It occurred to him as someone who manipulates words to serve my agenda and my occurring was he was closed minded and wasn’t willing to listen to me.  What do you see as the trajectory of this conversation with those dynamics at play?
I had the awareness to refrain from reacting to my occurring of not being listened to.  This gave me choice inside of our conversation such that we landed in a great place with deeper understanding about ourselves and each other.
We naturally take a position when listening even though our mind has the capacity to see multiple perspectives.  Some common positions we automatically take are good or bad, right or wrong, I like this or I don’t like this, I like them or
I don’t like them.
A great way to increase your self-awareness is to notice which position you take in any given situation.  It’s in the noticing of your position that you actually loosen its grip on you allowing you to be responsive rather than reactive.  In other words, rather than reacting, you are enabling “choice” in how to interact and express yourself.
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