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Six Leadership Conversation Principles

Leadership is an interactive conversation that invites people to explore personal responsibility, passion, accountability and commitment. Here are 6 principles to guide these capacity-building conversations:

1. In an authentic conversation change happens. Effective collaboration, discovery and coaching can happen on the dance floor of conversation.

2. Begin a conversation with questions that set the tone for a respectful exchange. Just ask to-the-point information-seeking questions, like: 'What is our intention? What are you here for? How do you want to spend our time together?' Be clear of your intention prior to the conversation.

3. Conversations are not meant to be structured. Be open to conversations that you are unprepared for and focused on the interests of the other person (not your purpose). You know all about yourself already 'get curious about the other.

4. Collaborate with potential rather than colluding with issues. Rather than getting pulled into solving problems that may not matter to the other person, allow time for the person to get to what's really important. Provide spaces where they can express their doubts and fears by being a thoughtful listener--without taking on the responsibility to fix or debate the issue. After all, you have invited the person to talk about what matters to her or him, not you, so allow time for the articulation of those thoughts and feelings.

5. Personal transformation happens when the right questions get asked--not by providing answers. When you invite people to answer their own questions, they discover what they were not aware of---and what is needed to move forward. When you focus on the solution, you are trying to sell the person something. Personal discovery is capacity building. Personal transformation leads to corporate transformation - one person at a time.

6. Claim value for the conversation. Articulating what you value from the conversation and inviting the other person to articulate what was valuable for them, creates a space of appreciation and acknowledgement. It also provides for reflection on the value of exploring ideas with others 'building capacity for collaboration.

About The Author
Judith Richardson, MA, BA, B.Ed, MEC
Recipient of International Coach of the Year and Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award as Entrepreneur and Innovator, Judith works and plays across North America, Europe, Jamaica, Siberia, Australia, Sweden, Israel and Russia. A gifted speaker, teacher, organizational consultant, and executive coach, Judith Richardson combines exuberant, loving optimism and play with seriously-honed skills, limitless thinking, a piercing intelligence and an uncanny ability to weave in concrete concepts 'grounding vision when we aren't even aware of it. Judith works with the greater and profound potential of a person, company, project or organization. (902) 434-6695

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