Leadership Key: Impact Conversations

By Joy W. Goldman | Leadership Coaching

In the March, 2017 newsletter, I introduced the topic of trust and highlighted five ways leaders increase trust in their organizations. Today, I wanted to provide an overview of two very practical tools that can be used to engender trust in ALL relationships, regardless of how challenging you may find some to be:

Conversational Intelligence and Polarity Thinking

You can deepen your learning on Polarities during an upcoming Wiederhold & Associates webinar on Aug 1.

Wiederhold & Associates Webinar
August 1, 2017 - "Polarity Thinking"

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Judith Glaser in her book, Conversational Intelligence, asserts that ALL work is conducted through conversations. Think about it! Is there anything you do that does not involve a conversation? From a pure productivity perspective, think about the time you could save if most of your conversations were impactful.

During July’s webinar, Cliff Kayser and James McKenna, two phenomenal executive coaches, illustrated in their usual humorous way, one element of effective conversations: The power of leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy: two critical leadership competencies. The May/June 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review included an article that talked about four key attributes that distinguished high performing CEOs: the ability to be decisive was one of them. As a leader, “telling,” and “advocacy” is essential in certain circumstances.

The most powerful leaders know how to leverage advocacy AND inquiry, and they know when they’re being effective, and when they risk derailment. Signs of an overuse of advocacy may include noticing that they are doing most of the talking and others aren’t offering their opinions; leaders may notice that their audience seems less engaged. In the extreme, they may also notice that not too many people are following them!

Glaser’s levels I and II conversations consist of “telling,” or using questions that are geared toward eliciting what the leader already knows to be true. They are using inquiry but only with a goal to validate their own thinking. Glaser discusses the more powerful level III conversation that is focused on “Sharing And Discovery.” Level III conversations ask questions for which the leader doesn’t know the answer to the question.

    Sample discovery questions include:
  1. Sample discovery questions include:
  2. What matters most to you right now?
  3. To resolve this conflict successfully, what would need to occur for you?
  4. Tell me what I might not be seeing or understanding right now?
  5. If we couldn’t fail, what would we be doing right now?
  6. If we could better leverage Safety AND Risk, how might we better serve our customers/ community?

When leaders ask questions that come from a place of curiosity, we tap into our audience’s prefrontal cortex and quiet their amygdala, the primitive part of our brain, which kicks into high gear when we feel threatened. Creativity and trust come from our prefrontal cortex: through sharing and discovery conversations.

In healthcare, our habit is to look for problems. Simple problems often have a right or wrong answer. Complex problems/ situations rarely do and are better served by leveraging interdependent tensions or pairs: polarities. Come to the webinar in August to learn more about leveraging Inquiry AND Advocacy.

    In future newsletters, we’ll also explore other healthcare tensions like:
  • Mission AND Margin
  • Confidence AND Humility
  • Centralization AND Decentralization
  • Standardization AND Customization

I look forward to our next conversation!

Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC, PDC
Executive Director, Leadership Coaching
Wiederhold & Associates

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The Secret Source of Great Leadership

When I picture a great leader, I picture someone who never lets their temper get out of control, no matter what problems they are facing. I think of someone who has the complete trust of their staff, listens to their team, is easy to talk to, and always makes carefully informed decisions.

What I have described is an emotionally intelligent leader.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be keenly aware of your own emotions, and the emotions of those around you. These individuals are aware of the root cause of their emotions and how their emotions affect those around them.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize Emotional Intelligence (EI),
there are five main elements of emotional intelligence:

Self-awareness --- Self-regulation --- Motivation
Empathy --- Social skills

The more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence.

To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be. The good news is, Emotional intelligence can intentionally be developed.

We are facing a critical era of transformation in healthcare and success is entirely dependent upon strong leadership. As you rise through the leadership ranks you must master Emotional Intelligence as a key component if you hope to become a great leader.

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Improving Trust Through Conversational Intelligence

It is my passion to equip people with the tools it takes to be successful. With that in mind, I have assembled a team of leaders that will help you gain the competitive edge you are looking for. One of the members of my coaching team is Joy Goldman.

Joy is an accomplished professional in leadership, physician development, coaching, and enhancing organizational effectiveness. I feel that you will find her insights useful and helpful.

-Jim

By Joy W. Goldman, RN, MS, PCC, Professionally Certified Leadership Coach

Research shows that 9 in 10 conversations miss the mark. Sometimes people may say to you, “I don’t have time to spend in deep conversations – they take too long.” By mastering Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ), what normally could take months or even years, can happen instantaneously. Below are three significant ways that Conversational Intelligence can impact your leadership success:

  • Enables quicker, deeper connections. We see higher levels of trust, of partnering, and of teamwork. Our world is moving from an I-centric world (focused on self and independent leader) to a WE-centric world (focused on teams and collaboration).
  • Provides frameworks for building TRUST. Trust is the human platform from which great conversations emerge. Patrick Lencioni identifies trust as the foundation for all effective teams. C-­IQ provides a new innovative framework for understanding how conversations shape our relationships, partnerships, our culture and our reality. C-­IQ introduces tools for creating higher levels of trust and higher levels of engagement, which strengthens partnerships, teams, and cultures.
  • A scientifically proven method for improving engagement. Based on Neuroscience Research- specifically the Neuroscience of Conversations, C-IQ facilitates the accomplishment of results, while also fostering enjoyment with the process.

C-­IQ provides us with deep understanding about how every conversation has an impact ­on our brain. With this understanding, we can prime our conversations for impact and learn how to develop trusted relationships. Building trust comes from practicing inquiry. Click here to read an article on applying self-inquiry to achieve your goals.

Would you like to learn how to master conversational intelligence or other enhanced communication skills? Contact Joy today.

Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Character Creates Leadership Success

Leadership is such a broad subject with many important subcategories.

We are in a time of great challenge to our leaders both inside and outside of healthcare. Great challenge creates great stress. Our leaders live and work in a fishbowl and must realize that every move they make whether it's verbal or nonverbal will be noticed and analyzed.

Good leadership, as with anything else, starts with character. Everybody wants it, but it has so many definitions. Everybody sees a lack of it in others but not in themselves.

I'm in the process of reading the book, "Louder than Words," by Andy Stanley. I'm not finished with the book but I'm enthralled with the subject matter. It focuses on the definition of character. Because I'm faith-based, I will adhere to Andy's following definition:

Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.

So easily stated, it's so difficult to achieve. Perhaps it's like mastery, we strive for it, but never get there. For others who are not faith oriented, I would suggest defining what the right thing is but not changing the second half of the definition.

Leadership Starts Here: Doing the Right Thing

Secondarily, leaders did not get to where they are today without utilizing strengths that have made them successful. But under stress, those same strengths can become weaknesses. Beyond that, everyone has certain "derailers" that can be triggered by stress as well as other influencers. By giving into these triggers, the ability to keep good character intact becomes difficult.

Recognition, or awareness, of the "derailers" is not always present within the leader. Leaders should develop feedback mechanisms that they can rely on and will accept. Gaining awareness of these triggers/influencers is a highly valuable personal investment. Once these triggers are identified, passionately pursue how to change them.

In stressful challenging times, these two components are essential to successful long-term leadership.

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Become the Leader You Were Meant to Be

After 21 + years in the career development business, I have seen the unique skill sets required for effective healthcare leaders. One key I have discovered is that effective leaders are continuous learners who never stop growing and developing their skills and talents.

I have found important learning traits that effective leaders require:

  • New levels of perception and insight into the realities of the world and also into themselves
  • Extraordinary levels of motivation to go through the inevitable pain of learning and change
  • The emotional strength to manage their own and others' anxiety as learning and change become more and more a way of life
  • New skills in analyzing and changing cultural assumptions
  • The willingness and ability to involve others and elicit their participation
  • The ability to learn the assumptions of a whole new organizational culture

An essential part of effective leadership and growth is networking. Wiederhold & Associates has developed the most in-depth premium network of senior healthcare professionals in the country. The Premium Active Network program was developed for individuals who see the value of networking, gaining visibility in the industry and building mutually beneficial relationships.

At Wiederhold & Associates, we are a leading provider of career development, transition services and executive coaching to the healthcare industry. We help individuals and organizations with the tools and resources to develop and sustain exceptional leadership performance. Through networking and coaching, we are always focused on relationship building with a personal touch.

Throughout the year, I will be sending periodic communications through email and social media that will keep you informed of topics on leadership effectiveness and managing your career for a lifetime.

Here’s to your success!

Jim

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Soft Skills, the Other Half of the Equation

In 2013, I will celebrate 20 years of being an entrepreneur. In 1993 when we started our focus was on the recruiting side, but over the years our business has become strictly focused on transition. It was initially only external transition, but now involves internal transition as well as executive coaching. A very wise person once said to me, “since you know so much about why people separate or fail in their careers/jobs, why don't you take that information and also use it to help people stay gainfully employed?” We listened and that's when we started the executive coaching part of the program.

In those years, as I worked with executives and senior managers it became apparent to me why in most cases people separate from their organizations. And when I say separation, I am focusing on individuals that have been on some level asked to leave or left through mutual agreement. Those reasons have little to do with performance and understanding the task at hand or having the technical skills to execute their jobs, but around what I would label “soft skills”. Soft skills would include things such as communication, listening, emotional intelligence, messaging, relationship building, and conflict resolution. In most cases as we tracked back their last 60 to 90 days of employment, it became apparent that, first, this was no surprise and second, it had more to do with key relationships and politics.

My job is all about talking with people and the majority of them, despite rising high in the organization, are very much focused on task. I by no means, am saying that that is not important, but it is only half the equation. The other half is the soft skills. And then the next question becomes: why do we not pay attention? Here are some of my observations over the years; this is by no means a comprehensive list:

  • Do not see it as important
  • Are not comfortable with the soft skills
  • They are difficult to measure
  • They are the first thing to be neglected in a stressful situation

My point is this: life is about balance and one must strike a balance between achievement and mastering the soft skills. If people would do that, they would be in much greater control of their own destiny career-wise. It's time to start paying attention or continue to repeat the past.

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