“Conversations are the work of a leader and the workhorses of an organization. While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life – any single conversation can.” -Susan Scott
The true weight and depth of any leader will be found and measured in their influence. Without it, a leader and their leadership will often be found to be lacking and hollow. Leadership influence is not acquired haphazardly, it requires intentional and purposeful thought and action.
Unfortunately, the daily hustle and bustle required for leading can enable us to overlook those very same levers that create and increase our influence.
Simply stated. We often fail to intentionally utilize one of the best levers we have at our disposal…
Can you think of any other influence lever that engages the adults in our organizations over one thousand times each day…every day?
A better question is…for those thousands of conversations and opportunities for connection, how many of them are intentional and purposeful? If not many is the answer, then why may be a question worth considering…why is this not a lever that you are utilizing as an influence builder for your leadership?
“We effect change by engaging in robust conversations with ourselves, our colleagues, our customers, our family, the world. Leadership should effectively be looking at changing the world – one conversation at a time.”
Very seldom are we intentional with our conversations. Though we know they serve as the spark to ignite the fires of change and innovation in our organizations. We fan those same fires of change and innovation by intentionally engaging these conversations, whenever and wherever possible, at all levels of the organization, inside and out.
Well-placed conversations provide the impetus to move the vision and goals of the organization forward. Conversations provide the necessary transparency and understanding around change…they create the environment and atmosphere that allow for change and innovation to grow and expand. Conversations create clarity preceding the actual steps forward.
“Leaders must have conversations that interrogate reality, provoke learning, tackle tough challenges and enrich relationships.” “Our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.”
We are not defined by every conversation that we engage in, yet, we could be much more intentional with the conversations that we do engage in. Conversations that are as much about listening as they are about being heard. Conversations that allow our leadership to be much more authentic and vulnerable. Conversations that let people know we are all in…
“Intimacy is required in conversation now – at home and in the workplace. We must answer the big questions in our organizations. What are the questions that need posing? What is real? What is honest? What is quality? What is value?”
Every conversation has the ability to provide and/or gain clarity for those immersed in the process. Just as they can lead you towards or away from the goals and vision for the organization.
As author Susan Scott so aptly states…the conversation is not about creating the relationship, it is the relationship. Conversations not only increase our influence, they increase our relationships. “Our conversations either enhance our relationships, flatline them, or take them down.”
Consider being more intentional about your conversations if your aim is to increase your influence, your relationships, and the overall trust factor in your organization. Deep, authentic conversations are the path to the change and innovation necessary to move our organizations forward. Which causes us to consider…
“What are the conversations you’ve been unable or unwilling to have – with your boss, colleague, employee, spouse, parent, child; or yourself – that, if you were able to have, might change everything?”
What conversations will you have today?
(Quotes in bold are taken from Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.)