Engaging for Leadership: Are You Talking With or At Your Team?

I worked with a leader recently who is brilliant but had difficulty with communication, leading others to believe he had little respect for their knowledge and their ability. Communication one-on-one, and with his team, was at a premium, they only gathered around specific projects.

This organization was at a point where projects were started and funded according to what was popular and seen as important to the larger community without a clear motivating purpose for the team. Competition for resources had become dominant so that partnerships and team endeavors were impossible. The purpose for research and development was forgotten.

During our engagement my client gave up his management role and was forced to look at a different way to lead. We focused his efforts on networking and the connection with others to explore purpose, connections and relationships within many areas of the organization. His brilliance began to come forward again and he leveraged that by making time with people to talk about projects that were important to him.

As you know, perceptions can change slowly. It was important for him to remember that the reputation for not listening and not getting along stayed for a while as he developed new leadership behavior focused on communication, connection relationship and engagement.

As his community has continued to grow, partnerships have developed and purpose has come to the forefront. He now finds himself relating and being asked for mentoring and advice. His presentations are receiving positive feedback with opportunities to develop projects and teams that are engaged.

Suggestion: In the next week or two, see if you can set up time with a couple of your leadership peers to create a greater sense of connection and collaboration across functional lines. Use the time to get to know each other better, especially in the area of how you each see your job, your role in the success of the company, and how you might collaborate more. Also, when you meet with the team that you lead, have conversation that allows each one to define their role and how it contributes to the team.

Using some of the process points in our Four Meeting Model can give you some ideas. You can download the model here: The Collaborative Leadership Four Meeting Model

If you have a leadership question, challenge, or success you would like to share, please be sure to leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you! – Patricia