Friday 22 March 2019

Communication part 1. Asking the great questions essential for sustaining shared-view

Material for today’s podcast is mainly drawn from the Communication sparkenation of my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Sparkenation: a spark that ignites passion that leads to action that changes what’s normal.

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

In a nutshell

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles.

In business it's essential to sustain shared-view in 7 areas of significance. 

Do so and I can guarantee you better business results at less human and operating costs.

Below are the 7.  

Here's short videos on each of the 7 and more including a simple diagnostic

1. Where are you now (reality)?
2. Where are you going (possibility)?
3. Why are you going there (purpose)?
4. How will you get there (strategy)?
5. Who will do what and when (execution)?
6. How will you know you're on track (progress)?
7. How will you behave along the way (culture)?

To best answer these questions I recommend a process which in part means asking more questions.

The fertile ground is determining what question to ask through carefully assessing the situation and therefore ensuring your question is in the right context.  The right question in the wrong context can cause trouble!  Ploughing the ground is then to ask the question. Seeding is being silent yet completely attentive while the person or people answer your question. The nurturing lies in how well you acknowledge their answers.

The cycle is complete (harvest) when you align answers with who people will become and what they will do next to implement their answers and/or integrate their answers with what is already working for them.

3 recommended actions

1) Download and complete the 7 areas of shared-view diagnostic here.

Undertaking this exercise yourself will give context to all that follows. A strong suggestion would be to ask each member of your team to complete the diagnostic and indicate each of their answers on one form. This will pave the way for great conversation leading to shared-view.

2) Participants in the master-class that I conducted to develop some of this material participants answered the following two questions:

What’s the greatest question you’ve ever been asked?

And what’s the greatest question you’ve asked somebody else?

What are your answers?

My favourite answer was one from a female participant who challenged one of her bosses with Would you talk like that to your sister?

3) We also had great conversation in the master-class around the following quote: 

"In leadership the conversation isn't about the work,
the conversation is the work."
David Whyte

What are your thoughts? Who can you become and what will you do next to embrace these concepts?

Recommended deep work

1) Access the companion resources web page to my Remarkable Workplaces book and download and use 'The great questions remarkable leaders often ask' ebook.

2) Over time develop a set of questions you can ask at appropriate times. I have a list of over 100 questions that I have tried, tested and proven. I simply wait for the right context to use them. 

Usually I invest a great deal of time and energy contemplating which is the best question that will help this person be the best version of themselves.

3) Regularly take courses or participate in programs that will help you to continuously better your language, communication, presentation and conversation skills and attitudes.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

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