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The Quick Read from Your SweetSpot Coaching | Consulting

Hello everyone!  I took a bit of a sabbatical and it’s great to be back! This issue of The Quick Read is dedicated to the memory and work of my friend and colleague, Angela Fletcher. Under the umbrella of The Angela Fletcher Company, Angela coached leaders to Lead Differently®.  Her coaching philosophy influenced both the leadership behavior and the personal lives of her clients.  Angela believed that leadership is a reflection of who you are and encouraged her clients to think about their leadership in terms of their legacy. 
 

Lead Differently

Focus on Personal Relationships

Angela believed that the quality of a leader’s personal relationships (with family and friends) is indicative of his/her ability to form professional relationships that drive team performance, and stimulate collaboration and innovation among peers, key stakeholders, and co-workers.

As you read this article, think about a personal relationship that requires your attention or needs healing.  What is a small step that you can take to give more time or mend what is broken? When thinking about dedicating more time to your loved ones, consider the power of asking, “What do you need more of from me?” When it comes to conflict, we’ve all had interactions with a loved one that left us “feeling a certain kind of way.” That feeling can stifle our ability to make peace and interfere with our willingness to cross the proverbial line in the sand.

Regret can be heavy and not easily released. With that in mind, think of a time when you did take action.  If you are like many of us, you found yourself thinking, “I should have done that sooner,” or “that wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.” 

Grace and healing in personal relationships cultivate a standard that leaders feel compelled to achieve in their professional relationships. The habit of giving grace elevates the effectiveness of feedback conversations, advances the benefits of coaching, and motivates leaders to meet people where they are.  I think Angela would say that’s what leading differently is all about.

 

Lead Differently

Seek to Understand

Empathy is a key component of every leader’s emotional intelligence.  Covey calls it “seeking to understand.”  Imagine how different you would lead if you took time to gain the perspective of your boss, a peer, co-worker, or direct report. Some confuse empathy with agreement, but understanding does not require agreement.   It does require consideration.  The ability to put yourself in the shoes of someone else can shift your perspective in powerful ways.  Empathy eases the tension of everyone’s position and opens thinking for the best possible outcome.

Consider this approach. The next time you are preparing for a difficult conversation put yourself in the shoes of the other person and ask yourself, “what does (name of the person) need from me?”  Jot down your thoughts.  Next ask yourself, “What do I need from (name of the person)?”  Jot down your thoughts.  Compare the lists, look for common needs.  Begin the conversation there.

If there are no common needs, begin the conversation with what you think the person needs from you.  Check your thinking and get clarity.  Share your needs, and move the conversation forward from there.

Feeling understood brings down walls and fuels progress. I recently heard a line in a movie that seems appropriate here, “When needs align, things get done.”  To this Angela would probably say, “Amen sister!”

 

Lead Differently

Delegate to Develop

Individuals that lead differently understand the responsibility that leaders have for developing their people.  Delegation can be a powerful development tool.  Done well, it garners positive results.  It frees up the leader for more strategic pursuits and contributes to the organization's leadership pipeline.

Developmental delegation does, however, require thoughtful planning.  The leader must slow down long enough to assess what’s going on around him/her; identify the true leadership priorities, and then determine the projects and tasks that will foster professional growth in performance and thinking. 

Delegation should always be paired with clear expectations, goal alignment, and supportive coaching.  In the absence of these ingredients, it is not delegation, it is simply dumping.  Taking the time to identify strategic priorities and thoughtfully delegating to your people is a winning formula for you, your team, and the organization.  People development was essential to Angela’s philosophy about what it means to Lead Differently®

When Time Allows

Angela's Legacy

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