Your heart knows.
Learn to listen to your heart first and your head second.
We all have a unique rhythm. Understanding its flow is a key to living our essence (unique personal wisdom).
Our routines and rituals, the processes we follow and the practices we keep. All these are worth continuous reflection and self-conversation.
Imagine the leader who announces to her team/community/constituents:
"I've heard myself say to myself lately that I haven't really connected with you on X.
I believe I can explain my intentions, feelings, and thoughts much better.
I'd really appreciate your help."
Do you feel/think most people would respond positively to such statements? I reckon most people would.
When we have shared aspirations with others and show genuine appreciation to one another, as well as helping each other to be accountable, we enable others to feel valued.
And so the door is now open for feedforward which is of far greater value than feedback.
Feedforward is a great concept from Marshall Goldsmith.
Feedforward is suggestions from others that provide insight and foresight for you to change your behaviour.
I believe it’s the least most important conversation, yet it is still important.
"We've listened to your feedback" say the politicians, business, and other leaders. How well you've listened will be determined by your actions.
Feedback is about the past. Often it’s biased opinion based on self-interest. In my case I'm from the Alan Weiss school - I ignore feedback I didn't ask for! yet I really value feedback from people I trust and who have my best interests at heart.
How's things going?
I highly value answering the phone and a friend or colleague says "I just called to see how you're going." I know when I make these calls there is always deep appreciation on the other end of the line.
Just being there
Some of the best conversations I'm involved in are when I don't need to speak just listen and understand. When I'm on the receiving end of these conversations I am always deeply grateful.
When there are values on the wall that aren't lived in the hall performance is less than what's possible. When values are behaviours and not just words optimum performance follows.
After Action Reviews
These are structured conversations that appreciate what was remarkable, great, good, bad, and ugly about a specific action; imagine what can be next time; create/update plans or processes in ways that reflect agreed personal and business behaviour changes, and stay, stop, start actions.
Wise leaders have mentors and are being mentors for others and so Mentor Moments are integral to conversations.
Mentor Moments are informal and unstructured as well as formal and structured conversations.
If you aren't yet enjoying the high value of Mentor Moments as both a mentor and a mentee then get started today if not sooner!
The vast majority of successful people I know are part of one or more peer groups (people mutually committed to each others’ success who meet regularly).
The most successful teams are peer groups. Is yours?
Feedforward helps to make peer review conversations more candid and convivial.
Peer review is the daily conversations you have with your peers that ensure alignment.
Having focusing tools is paramount. Role Clarity Statements and individual plans-on-a-page or processes-on-a-page or Process Maps are examples.
Value exchange and delivery
Candid, convivial, compassionate, conscious and compelling conversation that lead to agreements in writing on the must haves, should haves and nice to haves (value) of working relationships and how these are exchanged and delivered, and in what formats, is one of the most profound of conversations.
Weekly Check-ins ritualise conversations.
These are short, sharp, weekly conversations online and/or in person where individuals and/or teams review what's happened and what's next, and agree on actions and accountability for the coming week.
Weekly Check-ins are also great for continuous celebration of what's going well and to explore what can still be better.
The most profound insight about making these 15 conversations that count your own is that you will never ever have to participate in another meeting for the rest of your life.
Wise leaders have stopped having meetings and instead engage in conversations that count.
And there's something else too, a gem that I learned from Bernadette Jiwa: marketing is just helpful conversations. Since adopting this wonderful insight into my work and focusing on being helpful I've found that outcomes are no longer a focus in my life and that I'm content to follow processes knowing that outcomes are a natural consequence.