My quirky clients inspire me.
I've recently met with a couple who each had their own challenges. Hey, they’re human and really, we all have our personal stuff.
This week’s Wednesdays With Wayne takes you on a journey of looking inward to bring your Best Self out.
Andrew and Sally struggled to be better leaders for their organization. As partners, they also were challenged to be better for each other. Their lessons were separate, but so relevant for each of us!
Sally is such a giving person that, ironically, she struggled to demonstrate empathy. In fact, it was because of her efforts to engage in a human connection that by offering assistance and suggesting different fixes for problems, she ended up taking away the opportunity for the other person to actually grow. To really demonstrate presence, it's important to acknowledge the other person's condition and when you step in as a leader, it's important to leave room for the other person to develop. Being of service doesn't mean fixing the thing for the other person. In fact, being of service as a leader means providing different ways of thinking, offering various challenge-steps that allow for incremental successes, and offering supportive recognition of the efforts made along the way.
Sally had a habit of empathizing by inserting her own stories. In her attempt to affirm that she was listening, she ended up talking about her experiences instead of truly acknowledging the other person’s experiences. In so doing, she created the barrier that she intended to remove.
Through some guidance and reflection, Sally now knows that in order to serve first, she must leave room or make room for the other person to fully engage in his or her own experience. Her mantra has become, Serve First.
Andrew felt like he had trouble as a leader expressing himself as clearly as he’d like. He had this feeling like he’d be judged. The truth is, as a leader, you WILL be judged. You’re not running for popularity contest. You’re out to create a winning culture and that means that you have to set the standards and hold the line. It means that you have to dare to declare what you believe in.
What I know about Andrew is that he is an avid tennis fan. He’s a player and an observer of the best in the world. We were talking about serves. There are people who, when they blow their first serve, will “dink” the second serve over so it just very softly lands in the box.
Andrew says he treats every serve like it’s his first serve. It’s strong and sometimes a little wild.
Okay then. We made that his leadership style. Everything that’s said is strong and maybe a little wild. The team will know he means it, though. There’s no “dinking” the statements he needs to make.
When you engage in coaching, you get a perspective you didn’t have before. You learn that some of the things you’re good at in one part of your life might actually be useful in another part of your life.
The lessons from Sally and Andrew: Serve First and First Serve.
When I last checked, they were having His & Hers t-shirts made up with their own reminders on them!
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Keep making your magic™! Remember to serve first and that everything you do is your first serve. Bring it in hot!