You face leadership dilemmas every day.
- Do I tell or ask?
- Do I speak or listen?
- Do I step in or step back?
An internal tug of war.
With uncertainty, you go with the safest option. Which often isn’t the path of growth.
How do you resolve these tensions?
Move away from this vs that.
Towards this AND that.
Embrace the third space. Where opposites can exist together.
"The CEO of Starbucks recently responded to a question about whether the company was trying to offer customers a convenient, quick cup of coffee or build a space for gathering community. He explained, “But we don’t believe there needs to be this type of a tradeoff.… [O]ur third place can and will continue to unite both experiences.”"
With this in mind, I’ve been revisiting a paradox close to my heart.
Coaching vs Mentoring.
Coaching 101 teaches these definitions:
- Coaching = asking questions, never giving advice.
- Mentoring = sharing your advice and expertise.
I subscribed to this for a long time.
But more recently I’m most curious about the third space. Where leaders are coaching AND mentoring in a single conversation. Telling and asking. Speaking and listening.
A dynamic dance in the third space.
It’s in this space where you operate.
Your ability to navigate these tensions determines your success.
Here are a few more thoughts.
What do you think?