Leadership = Conversation

People in conversation

“I never realised the power of just talking to people and the credit it gets you,” a CFO friend of mind said as we walked past St Pauls looking for a coffee shop.

In this short statement I was reminded again of one of the simplest, yet most powerful tools of the leader – conversation.

Years ago I heard someone say:

“You only lead when you communicate, and the most powerful method of communication is conversation.”

In running between back-to-back meetings, rarely do we find time for even the shortest of conversations. Yet, a simple hello or how was your weekend, goes a long way with people. And beyond this, taking the time to talk openly to your team members about how they’re doing and what drives them, will have an incredible impact on your relationship and their perceptions of you as a leader.

Why is conversation so powerful – because as humans we want to feel connected, especially to those who lead us. We want to feel like they care about us and know who we are.

Being a leader is about leading the true human experience to unlock potential. Central to this experience is the ability to connect with other humans.

In seeking to create connections just remember: Interest without sincerity makes you a fraud!

So, as you seek to engage others in conversation, take time to really listen and to get to know them as a human being, not just as a member of the team.

Something to consider…

What conversations can you have today and with who?

Something to try…

Next time you’re in the lift with just one or two other people, strike up a conversation. It doesn’t matter about the topic (I usually start with the weather), what matters is the practice of creating a human connection.

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