I just returned from a terrific trip to Chicago where I was asked to speak at the Annual Meeting for the SSATB and their members from across the United States and Canada, with admission directors from all over the world as well. It was an exciting mix of individuals, all dedicated to helping students succeed and schools thrive.
I met some really interesting people and heard some inspiring folks speak as well (not to mention taking in some of the
beautiful sights of Chicago!).
My talk, “The Secret Sauce of Leadership – Coaching Skills for Success” included some fundamental leadership and
coaching skills, which are often overlooked. It also focused on how we as leaders need to remember to see the “Star” – the brilliance in each person on our teams. This is about seeing the best in people and also seeing them as creative, inventive and undamaged.
I was asked if that didn’t seem a bit “Polly Anna”. My reply to his inquiry was that no, it’s not about ignoring the aspects of yourself or another that aren’t working very well in the moment but more about “Assume Goodwill”. Making the assumption that this person actually wants to be of contribution in some way but is perhaps off the mark in the moment.
Our job as leaders is to hold up the mirror in a supportive and honest way – helping them to see the aspects of their work or contributions that may need more attention and focus. While also acknowledging and championing the parts that Are going well too. Allowing them to see their own capabilities with fresh eyes, honest feedback and encouragement so they can find their motivation and energy to continue doing their best.
We are all human, each with our good days, bad days and perhaps even stumbling around in the fog days. It is because we are human that this principal is so important. When individually, we are the one having an off day, it’s important to have compassion with ourselves, to find our way back to our path to get moving again. Beating yourself up is generally a waste of time and energy. Figure out where you got off track, correct and continue.
When dealing with others though, you need to be more mindful of your words and actions and the impact that they can have. What’s the impact that you want to leave others with as a leader? How are you empowering others through your words and deeds, helping them to expand their confidence as a leader, enhance their skills and move the goals of your organization forward?
I believe that “Everyone is a Leader, All of the Time”. You see, leadership comes in many forms, small and large. When you adopt this attitude, you’ll be surprised how the people you interactive with on a daily basis start to show up a little differently, perhaps even standing up a little taller because you saw them in a more empowered way, seeing the star qualities shining within them.
We have to be able to see the Star in ourselves as well, so we can actually see that brilliance in others too. When we can’t, it has a tremendous effect on how we move through the world and the blinders that we put on ourselves.
Here’s a self-assessment to try on:
As you go through the next 24 hours, notice where your thoughts and emotions are predominately. Are they below or above the water line? Below the waterline being anywhere from Boredom to Pain to Hate to Regret. Whereas above the waterline is anywhere from Content to Cheerful to Love to Serenity.
This predominant perspective you’re walking around with is most likely coloring not only how you see yourself but how you see others as well. Making it more apparent or more difficult to see the brilliance in yourself, and in others.
(BTW, Each of these emotions also have a specific energetic vibrational level as well. And as the saying goes – “like attracts like” – these energetic frequencies will attract to you others at similar energetic levels. So if you notice a bunch of “Negative Nellies” hanging around you, be sure to pause and notice where your thoughts, emotions and energy are and consider what might need to shift within your perspective to create an outward effect.)
Bottom line – as humans, we each want to be seen, heard and respected for the contributions we make, large or small. When we can recognize and appreciate these contributions in others, it is a gift we give them; one that helps them to stand a little taller as they recognize their own authentic talents, knowing that they made a difference – A gift that will surely leave a positive ripple in its wake.
To Your Success~