A few days ago, I had the honour of being one of 5 speakers at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers “Rising Stars” showcase. The panel of judges was incredible, led by Peter Legge , owner of the $35 million communications conglomerate that owns among other things BC Business Magazine.
The winner of the competition gets to represent the BC Chapter of CAPS at the National Convention- and compete with the winners of each province for a national Rising Star 2010 title.
I didn’t win, but wanted to share the speech with you here- in the form of a blog post: I will post the 5 minute video version as soon as I upload it!
So here it is….. “BRILLIANCE“
There are 50 people in this room. If I told you that by the end of 5 minutes, 50 lives will change for the better (for 50 people OTHER than you) would you be interested to find out how?
A few months ago I worked with a group of young leaders and played with the following concept: our conduct has a tremendous impact on how people feel about themselves.
We split the leaders into groups of listeners and story tellers.
In one instance, we told the listeners ahead of time to show up to the conversation and listen with only 50% of their attention… and to throw away 50% to wherever. I had to laugh when one leader laughed and said that was about 40% more than he normally gives in a conversation he is listening too!
In a different group, we asked the listeners- who remember are not coaches, or trainers, or even seasoned leaders… to SHOW UP the best they knew how; To do their very best to remove internal and external distractions and really just be be present in that conversation for the story teller. In the ZONE.
After each round, we asked the storytellers to complete the sentence… “I AM…..”
Here is what the first flip chart sounded like..
I AM UNINTERESTING
I AM BORING
I AM FRUSTRATED
I AM NOT VALUED
I AM CONFUSING
I AM STRESSED
Here is what the flip chart sounded like for the group that was really listened to:
I AM IMPORTANT
I AM VALUED
I AM CREATIVE
I AM CALM
I AM RELIEVED
I AM MOTIVATED
I AM HEARD
I AM ENERGIZED
Same people, same timeframe, same room; the difference being how the listener “showed up.
The manner in which we conduct ourselves has a tremendous impact on how others FEEL about themselves
And so I ask you- as I asked these leaders: When people walk away from an interaction with you- your children, your spouse, or best friend or stranger or colleagues… what does THEIR flip chart look like?
I want you to close your eyes.
I want you to think about the FIRST person that comes to mind when I say “someone you know with untapped potential“. I want you to visualize that person in such great detail that you can picture their face, their smile, what they are wearing and where they are. Now open your eyes and keep that visual with you.
If I were to tell you now that by paying attention to THREE things you have the opportunity to bring forth the brilliance and potential in that person would you want to hear them?
From this moment on, I want to do the following for this person:
a) SHOW UP as close to 100% as you can; Remove the distractions internal and external and shift your energy to focus 100% on that person. Listen with your eyes, your ears and your heart. Think about flip chart #2
b) BE CURIOUS; not in a nosy sense, but ask questions that stray from the superficial level we tends to hold most of our conevrsations at- to one level deeper; it’s about asking the great questions that help that person get clarity, shift perspective, get excited, move forward. You know there is brilliance inside this person- ask the questions that will let it come forth
c)Lastly, ENCOURAGE: Not in the “rah rah ” sense of the word, but more subtly: When you spend a great deal of time listening instead of talking, and asking really great questions… you naturally see ways you can subtly help that person move forward; it could be removing barriers, or clearing the way, or facilitating an introduction, or anything at all; BELIEVE in them more than they believe in themselves.
LISTEN, ASK QUESTIONS and ENCOURAGE
The manner in which we conduct ourselves has a tremendous impact on how others FEEL about themselves.
If we can internalize this, and do the three things I talked to you about then you will impact how the ONE person you chose will feel about themselves; and when those feelings are positive, and that person believes them… brilliance emerges.. at home, at work and in the community.
Note from Christine
I know things happen for a reason and I have been SO fortunate to be exposed to such incredible leaders in my career that have helped me get to the place of formulating my philosophy of great leadership. Ian Chisholm from the Roy Group first introduced me to some of these concepts 4 years ago and more recently, have been reminded of their importance by Alison Hendren and the Coaching Out of the Box team- whose vision is to bring coaching mainstream. THANK YOU