This is the third article about MBS.works – The Year of Living Brilliantly that contains the latest lessons of the program. Just like in the first and second articles, I added my notes for each session, plus references to learn more about the person who is talking about that topic.
35. How to Delegate
If you can’t learn to delegate, you’re not going to grow your team or business. If you can’t scale yourself, you can’t scale your team or business.
These are three mistakes that leaders make when it comes to delegation
- You hesitate because you have one of three limiting beliefs that show up in your head as sentences and make the scaling impossible:
- “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself!”
- “It takes longer to explain it to somebody else. I might as well just do it myself!”
- “I can’t afford to pay somebody else right now. I guess I’m just going to have to do it myself.”
- You abdicate, you give the task but you are not involved in the process. You should communicate your expectations, you have to be explicit. Communicate the deadline, objectives, and limitations.
- You suffocate your people. You micro-manage your people.
37. How to be Radically Candid
Radical candor is about caring personally and challenging directly at the same time.
Care personally = “give a damn” dimension of radical candor.
Challenge directly = “willingness to piss people off”.
When we challenge directly but forget to show that we care personally it is called “obnoxious aggression”.
When we do not challenge that person and we also forget to care personally it is called “manipulative insincerity”.
When we do not challenge that person, but we are very afraid that we could hurt that person’s feelings, it is called “ruinous empathy”.
How can you begin to put these ideas into practice?
- Get it – Solicit radical candor from your people, especially criticism
- Give it – You should focus on the good stuff, but you don’t want to ignore problems either.
- Gauge it – You need to understand how what you are saying lands for the other person. So radical candor gets measured not at the speaker’s mouth, but the listener’s ear.
- Encourage it – When a person talks to you badly about a different person, encourage that person to go talk to the person with whom they’re having the problem, the conflict.
38. How to Have *That* Conversation
Difficult conversations can be uncomfortable, but avoiding them is worse.
Tips to help you diffuse the conflict:
- Be assertively empathetic. Relationship first, logic second. Cultivate authentic curiosity.
- How are you feeling now? What can I do to help?
- People want to be seen, they want to feel heard, they want to be respected. Allow them to do just that and stop talking.
- Let go of likeability. Leadership isn’t about comfort, it’s about effective action.
- Even if you come into the conversation with respect and positive intent, research proves that when we receive bad news, we shoot the messenger.
- Managing this expectation of likeability will help you avoid taking things personally and keep you focused on the end goal of your conversation.
- Own your emotions
- You cannot control the emotions and feelings of others, but you can own your own emotions. We are the managers of our emotions.
- Create a safe pace by using “I” statements, don’t play the blame game: “I am feeling angry”, “I am feeling frustrated”, “I’m feeling defeated”.
- Focus on you what you can agree on
- We should enter the conversation with openness, a clear goal, and an interest in solving the problem.
- “Do you want to be right or do you want to continue having that relationship?”
- Find a common ground
- What’s the real challenge? What would it take for this to work for you? What is the ideal scenario you are looking for?
- Once you hear their concerns, you can start to find ways that improve their current reality. People want to feel a sense of belonging.
39. How to Not Fear Conflict
Cinnie Noble talks about how leaders could model their conflict competence with a framework called three R’s, which is about moving people from Reaction to Reflection to Response. It is about moving from the emotional part of the brain to the thinking part of it, so that conversation can happen in a way that is not loaded with emotion.
So rather than reacting, it is better to take some time, and to ask for that time: “That sounds like a really important discussion for us to have. Now’s not the time.” and be curious: “Tell me before I go, and we make time to speak, what’s most important to you about this?”. This approach will help you to move in a more reflective area before being able to respond: “I heard what they said, let’s start thinking about that.”
To move to the response area might require more curiosity: “Tell me more about that.” or “I wasn’t quite sure I got it all.” or “I thought about it, and this is what I’m thinking.”. So in this stage, the focus is not on emotions, but on working to understand what’s the challenge.
So if we can shift our thinking from reaction to reflection to response, we usually are more resilient and we can move on through a conflict.
40. How to See the Best in Things
Marva Sadler encourages us to look at things from a different perspective. “Instead of turning up our filters so that we are filtering out everything we disagree with, what happens if we just turn them down and listen with acceptance and a desire to understand? Later we can filter out those things that we don’t agree with, that do not fit.”
So when we cross a challenging situation we should stop and ask ourselves what we need to know before making any judgment or giving an answer or advice. What questions will help us better understand? We should work to turn down the filters and listen with appreciation and openness.
41. How to Find Better Questions
“An average coach will answer their client’s questions, a great coach will challenge their client’s questions and an extraordinary coach will constantly ask their clients more powerful questions.”
As a leader you should free your team, to ask, and then to go after what they really want.
Ritch Litvin shares a tool: invert the question. Instead of asking yourself or a member of your team, “What do you want?” Ask, “What don’t you want?” Because it will give a much more actionable answer. Inverting the question is a powerful coaching tool.
He also shares a list of questions to use:
1. Don’t ask, “How can I make safer decisions?” Ask, “How can I grow from my mistakes?”
2. Don’t ask, “How can I be more productive?” Ask, “How can I be more creative?”
3. Don’t ask, “How can I make more revenue?” Ask, “How can I make more profit?”
4. Don’t ask, “How can I do more?” Ask, “How can I work less?”
5. Don’t ask, “How can I inspire more clients?” Ask, “How can I create clients who inspire me?” That one’s a game-changer.
6. Don’t ask, “How can I get more followers?” Ask, “How can I create more leaders?”
7. Don’t ask, “How do I perfect my idea?” Ask, “How do I implement my idea?”
8. Don’t ask, “How can I sell?” Ask, “Who can I serve?”
9. Don’t ask, “How can I feel more confident?” Ask, “What tiny step can I take?” Confidence is a result, not a requirement.
42. How to Keep Your Boots On
Kathleen Wilson-Thompson talks about how important it is to be mindful when you enter a new organization (the onboarding experience).
As a new team member, respect the organization’s culture, rules, and standards, but also as a leader you should be mindful and respect your new team member’s culture and rules. Encourage inclusion.
43. How to Find Gold in the Weeds
Amy Whitaker talks about how to think about the world at large as an art project.
The main idea of “Art Thinking”, the book written by Amy, is that if you’re making a work of art in any area of life, you’re not going from a known point A to a known point B, you’re inventing point B.
She emphasized the idea that we could build a point B world for ourselves, and that is the point B world that we want to live in.
44. How to Use Branding for Change
Our use of symbols has evolved over thousands of years, but they share identical characteristics, which is rather baffling given how scattered we were all over the planet.
Initially, the brands and symbols were pushed bottom-up, from the people to the people.
Logos on products to identify a maker came next and brands were given legal recognition for the first time on January 1st, 1876 with the introduction of the Trademarks Registration Act. From then the movement started to be top-down, the corporations started to promote the brands to the people.
But from 2011 they are being pushed up, again, by the people, for the people, for the sole purpose of changing the world and making it a better place. We began to see how social media could amplify messages and connect like-minded people with powerful beliefs to inspire change.
45. How to Worry Less About Productivity
Rahaf Harfoush discovered three forces play a big part in how we define the way that we work and what our work means to us. Those three forces are our history, our biology, and our media culture.
She recommends to “go and do great things, and have big goals, and be ambitious, but remember that at the end of the day you are worthy and you’re enough just as you are.” and also we should “move from this idea of human productivity to humane productivity, to create systems designed by us, for us, for a creative world.”
46. How to Make Change Happen
Ed and Peter Schein shared 3 important themes:
- Everything happens through conversation. Human beings share ideas in conversation.
- The depth of your relationships in your key work networks matters. As a leader, you should be committed to getting to know your people and creating a safe place for them to share ideas and ask questions.
- The enterprises’ challenge is to grow and keep growing and it depends on effectiveness, communication, and creativity.
47. How to Cultivate Courage
Emotional fitness or resilience is the ability to interact with reality as it is. It is not about getting rid of negative emotions or avoiding difficult situations. It is about developing the capacity to experience discomfort that could help us to grow or achieve our objectives. When we respond to uncomfortable and difficult situations and emotions by confronting them and by accepting them, we thereby teach our brains to respond to those situations with courage, and over time, that response becomes a habit.
48. How to Have Your Voice Heard
The challenge: How to make your voice heard in any kind of group setting.
The tip: before going to a meeting, think about what point you want to make, what question you want to raise.
And the journey has come to an end. It was an amazing experience for me, also a challenging one because it involved focus and discipline, and I am very thankful for this opportunity. ✨
Thank you Michael Bungay Stanier! You did a fabulous program! Chapeau! 🎩