The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations

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    Entries in facilitation (45)


    Premature solution giving. 

    When we’re thinking or talking in a meeting and someone jumps in with ’the solution’... Ta da! Big fanfare! Once they’ve spoken it’s as if no other solutions are welcome or matter.

    The problem isn’t the person jumping in with the solution. They’ve had an idea and they’ve said it. Good on them!

    The issue is with the meeting leader. 'Premature solution giving' is an example of what happens when meetings don't have an effective process.

    I’m not talking about the agenda of the meeting, but the process or ‘way’ the meeting is happening.

    Designing a process is a contemporary facilitation capability that today’s ‘leader as facilitator’ needs, so they can:

    πŸŒ• Create better and safer environments

    πŸŒ• Lead more productive meetings

    πŸŒ• Guide more effective team interactions

    πŸŒ• Respond more swiftly when some sh*t goes down in a meeting. (That is, no sweeping it under the carpet or ‘parking’ it in a carpark flip chart).

    Learning the facilitation capability builds leadership confidence, boosts productivity and lifts psychological safety.

    Urgh! What else kills that feeling of safety in a meeting?


    The thing about experience is: it’s different for everyone. 

    The thing about experience is: it’s different for everyone. Even the same event is experienced differently by people. How do you make the most of experience in an organisation or team?  I’ve shared some advice and suggestions like:

    πŸ—Ί Use experience maps

    πŸ•˜ Schedule an experience share meeting

    πŸ“Œ Put experience on the agenda of regular meetings

    ❣️ Protect people while they’re presenting their experience maps.

    And it’s helpful to remember the power of ideas. Any two ideas can be connected, creating an incredible third idea. Their experience plus your experience, plus the situation you’re all in now, it can be combined to solve what you're working on.

    Bringing the experience of your team together, to be used together, tapped together and understood together is better than information sitting in a spreadsheet cell or filed away in an enterprise people system. Make experience something of the ’now’, talked about and acknowledged in the now, not just of the past - when it happened - and you’ll bring your team into a strong position able to cope with the future.

    >>What experience do you have that you just know will set you up for the future?


    Hidden experience is a huge cause of productivity loss

    This week I’m writing about experience people have that you might be ignoring. A barrier to hearing people’s experience is often the leader’s resistance to it.

    - Why wouldn’t you want to know about expertise that exists in your team?

    - Why wouldn't you want to know this information?

    - Why wouldn’t you want to hear it?

    ‘Why don’t people listen?’ author, Hugh Mackay says we don’t want to listen due to the fear that what we hear will change us.

    Australian Olympic athlete Cathy Freeman says 'when I'm in a bad mood, I don't listen.'

    Oscar Trimboli, author of ‘Deep Listening' says by not listening ’the same issues keep occurring therefore people are blamed.’ Excuses like: No time Too much to do Too hard Too many people to get through ...are excuses with simple answers.

    It takes effort and empathy to pay attention to people, especially when they're sharing their story, and it’s not about you. New ways of working require us to change what we do so we can make progress through these tricky times. To listen and learn from others is a key part of this. And for many people this indeed is a 'new way of working'. 


    Stop throwing your status around

    Careful throwing your status around.

    Leaders in organisations, wherever they go, wherever they walk, sit, stand, eat ... come with status attached. It can't be hidden.

    At a client workshop, the senior leader tip-toed in after about two hours, trying not to disturb the session. But really? They couldn’t be missed. Their status comes in the door first! At other sessions, leaders have said, ‘ I’m not participating today, I’m just observing’.

    What's that caper!?

    Now even more status is pouring out of you. Stop making yourself even more separate, different and higher. Make a decision: either be IN it with the team in the room, or get OUT of it and leave them to do the work of the workshop.

    Why and what are you 'observing'? Why not get involved? I don’t see any need for leaders to be 'on the fringes’ of a workshop, doing this watching, checking, observing, judging. Participate, do the work, connect and listen to people, get your hands dirty, hear their stories. Your special title isn’t special when it comes to working with the team in a practical session.

    Remove yourself and your status completely. Or reduce your status and sit at the table. How else do leaders throw their status around, perhaps unknowingly?


    The 4 words that show no - or low - empathy

    We know that empathy is a key way to build connections with people, deepen a conversation and strengthen trust. But I wonder we too often confuse similarity for empathy?

    When someone shares a story or situation with you, and you’ve experienced it too, what do you say?

    We can too often rush in to sharing our story, our experience and our situation...because it’s happened to us too! Sharing similarities, finding common ground - sure, yes it builds rapport, connection. But don’t kill the opportunity for deeper connection and empathy in the rush to say your bit.

    These four words can kill empathy dead :

    Been There Done That.

    If you think it helps people feel better that you’ve done it too... pause...because it may not. That’s because it’s not validating their story or their situation they’ve just shared. It’s switched the focus to you.

    Empathy is not about being better, bigger, quicker, cleverer, the ‘winner’ or having done it or experienced it before them. Quieten down. Listen. Respond to what they’re saying without making it about you.