My colleagues and I witness the power of awareness whenever we lead our Full Contact workshops with leaders and their teams. As participants closely examine their own challenging conversations for the first time, they are 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥.
They’re surprised to realize that they’re often 𝘯𝘰𝘵 doing what they thought they were doing in those conversations and were instead doing things they thought they 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯’𝘵 doing. They discover that they aren’t always aware of what they are actually doing in their conversations or of how this impacts people around them. No wonder their difficult collaborations are so difficult!
We all do it – we think we’re listening well to a colleague only to discover later that they didn’t feel listened to at all. Or we’re respectfully asking a question but later hear that the person felt personally attacked by us.
We can’t be aware of everything, and it’s even harder when strong emotions are present because our habits tend to take over. And habits are – by definition – invisible to us unless we have the opportunity to slow down and learn to observe them in action (which is what our workshop participants get to do).
So what can we become more aware of when we shift attention to ourselves? We become more aware of our 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴, our 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴, and our 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (yes, focusing our attention on our attention itself can be surprisingly useful). Let’s take a look…
𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬: We all understand the power of words to 𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵 action. But words do more than lead to action. They 𝘢𝘳𝘦 action. Whenever we speak, we are taking one of five actions: We are making assertions, declarations (which include assessments), requests, offers and promises. That’s it. When you understand the nature of these “speech acts,” your conversations can be transformed.
𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐁𝐨𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐬: We think, plan, speak, listen, and lead our teams in our body. Our conversations are fully embodied interactions. More awareness of our body can foster greater relaxation and ease, improve our posture and enhance our authentic leadership presence.
𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐀𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: Our attention determines where our energy, thoughts and resources go, so it’s helpful to manage our attention well. And we can learn to use our attention in many different ways—including directing our attention to our attention itself—which has profound and unexpected implications for our collaborative performance and well-being.
This is just a brief glimpse into the power of self-awareness for improving performance. As the saying goes, 𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘥𝘰 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵. Conversely, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re bound to just re-enact your habits—whether they’re helpful or not.
#Collaboration #Awareness #Performance