Stop Making Decisions….


Bob Gilbreath is the Cofounder and President of Ahalogy, a Cincinnati digital startup. His article, To grow as a leader, stop making decisions, in the Cincinnati Enquirer caught my attention.

Here is what he said that struck me: “Most successful leaders get there by minimizing the decisions they make.” How might this apply to your organization?

Practice getting out of your team’s way

What helps you “give up” to “go up?” Delegating comes with a price for most individuals. Here is a snapshot of coaching conversations with clients in this type of situation:

First, acknowledging fears or reluctance to delegate:
What if “they” don’t do it the way I am used to doing things?
What if “they” do it better than I do?
What if I become “non-essential” to the business?
What will help me decide what to delegate?
Second, recognizing that the strengths that helped clients create success in their old role can become liabilities in the new leadership role. Are your leaders asking:
How might I become comfortable with “not knowing,” so that I can transition into what makes me uncomfortable?
What are some wider sets of issues, decisions, AND strengths that might be better served in my current role?
How might I use the discretionary time that will open up when I delegate?
What tools do I have in place to ensure I delegate effectively – clarify expectations, provide training, or be available for supervision?
Recognize the mutuality of work

The animal world has this down—they get the symbiotic relationship: “a close, long-term interaction between two different species that benefits BOTH species.” People are messy and have emotional intelligence (EQ), defined as the ability to be self-aware in the moment and connect with people. This EQ deserves attention.

How might you rate your listening skills?
What distractions are you mindful of when you listen?
With what biases do you enter a conversation and how does that impact outcomes?
What unbiased, open-ended and positive questions do you ask?
How do you endeavor to understand differing perspectives?
Manage your emotions

How your behavior is perceived matters in each interaction. I can share several stories of when emotions got the better of me, and I am sure that you can too! In fact, I can feel your shudder when you remember these stories and wish for a “do over.” Many coaching conversations focus on the hard practice of managing emotions proactively:

What messages does your body give you and others when you are under stress?
Notice and pay attention to these visceral signals
What stories or narratives are you automatically creating while listening to someone?
These stories can distract from the real message
What helps you notice unspoken requests/feel of a room?
Recognize patterns across different difficult and easy situations
What helps you turn disagreements into agreements?
Listen from a place of curiosity
There is increased scrutiny, greater complexity, and tougher politics as you move up in an organization.

What practices would you like to share?
What practices are you curious about?
What practices are hard to sustain?

The Career Partners International – Cincinnati coaching team invites conversations and you can learn why our team is passionate about translating your goals into action by visiting our location page.

Sunitha has helped shape career success stories every day for more than two decades. Her work with Career Partners International – Cincinnati clients emphasizes a flexible, co-active approach of exploration, strategy-identification, career management and work-life balance. Sunitha’s style is characterized by active listening, intuition, curiosity and a strong belief that her clients are naturally resourceful. She is a trend-watcher, a skilled presenter, and is highly published in her field.

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