Challenge yourself with these questions:

What are you noticing?

My client has been using this question for a year now. It has helped him to be ‘present’ in his preparation, in face to face meetings, in the quality of his conversations with others, and perhaps most importantly with the conversation he has with himself. This last point is where the greatest has taken place as he now routinely checks how he is feeling and what he is thinking in the moment and adjusts his contribution to be more positive and helpful to the meetings he is in.

What are you avoiding?

Many of us collude with ourselves in putting off, or putting out of our minds things that we know it would be better to tackle. We can convince ourselves that the issues in front of us are urgent and spend our time being busy. We avoid thinking deeply about the quality of the relationships around us, the impact of our attitude and approach on others, and the things that are important and require more time to consider. A client I have been working with recently recognised that he is ready to be challenged on this issue, 3 or 4 months ago he wouldn’t have known how to respond to this question. We’ve now had a robust discussion about what he is avoiding which has resulted in new insights, intentions and willingness to do things differently.

Is your job driving you, or are you driving your job? With the oft repeated complaint, “I don’t have the time….” people use their busy-ness as an excuse for not doing something they know they ought to do, like have good development conversations with their people. This is a symptom of being driven by the job, and not the other way around. As a leader, you are expected to drive the agenda and your job, not let them drive you!

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