Conversations don’t just describe actions; they generate them – if you know the structure and have the skill. Because generative conversations are the source of actions and results and are the very fabric of coordination, they are not discretionary. And, in the performance art of leadership, you must learn through action, buying the book isn’t good enough.
People in leadership roles have many challenges often-severe ones when addressing the survival of an organization, the failures of a team, the limitation of a culture, or even just having meetings that work. Unfortunately many arrive in leadership positions based on prior successes that have little to do with what their new leadership role now demands of them. Even highly successful leaders face the challenge of growing other leaders.
Our cultural common sense tells us conversations are worthless talking and the real work is in the actions. This creates a blind spot about leadership in today’s culture that all the results of leaders, teams, coaches, and organizations come from prior conversations. This is why so many leaders give instructions and wonder why they don’t turn out well.
Why is this largely unknown today? For example, there was a time long ago when physicians didn’t study anatomy. It took a cultural and professional turn to make anatomy the requirement for the competence of a physician. Today leaders and those who coach leaders face that turning point. If you don’t know the “anatomy” of action and of the language of leadership then you could be just” worthlessly talking”; blind to the action, skills, and practices of the fully effective leader.
In our 30 years of coaching and teaching thousands of leaders, we have found the following principle to be valid: all results come from prior conversations – all of them, the good ones, the bad ones, and the so-so ones. They come from the conversations we do well, the ones we do poorly, and from the conversations that are missing.
Our students learn that effectively using conversations is a performance art. They are not concepts or models to understand. They are skills that include conversations for action, deep listening, leadership presence and body awareness, and connection to the care and commitment of others. These skills and over 100 others our students learn are crucial when you have to build a team, elevate performance, create new value, or deal with breakdowns.
If you are ready to take the first step, then join us at one of IGL’s Foundations of Generative Leadership (FGL) workshops. FGL provides hands-on experiential learning you can’t find anywhere else that will help you see and perform at a new level of leadership, value, and teamwork.