Let’s begin here with a bold assertion: Leadership IS conversation.
Think about it for a moment. If you followed a leader around, you would find them having conversations of all kinds. We often put labels on these types of conversations: “feedback,” “coaching,” “difficult,” the perennial favorite – “expectations.” Now let’s take on a common objection to this statement:
“But isn’t central to leadership effectiveness the idea of a leader ‘walking their talk?’”
True, but think, for a moment of what constitutes a leader’s “walk” – it’s generally a conversation that they need to have. Now let’s take the leadership idea of ‘walking their talk’ and flip it – how often does a leader succeed or fail because of their ability (or lack thereof) of TALKING their WALK – of giving meaning to their actions and choices.
Once again, we are back to Leadership = Conversations.
Here’s our perspective of what it means to develop as a leader:
Leadership is an influence process accomplished primarily through conversations. We often call these, “expectations”, “feedback”, “coaching”, or our favorite euphemism – “difficult” conversations (which could be inclusive of all of these).
Our leadership development at NinthEdge is a two-fold process:
- Helping leaders bring a greater level of self-awareness of who they are and what they bring to these conversations.
- Coaching leaders on how to hold these conversations well given number 1.