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Five Leadership
Conversation Principles

by John Agno

Leadership is an interactive conversation that pulls people
toward becoming comfortable with the language of personal
responsibility and commitment. Here are 5 principles that
guide these respectful conversations:

1. When peers connect change happens.
Effective coaching can happen on the dance floor of conversation.

2. It's OK to begin a conversation by confronting the other
person with questions that seem awkward but set the stage
for a respectful exchange.

Why waste time on small talk? Just ask to-the-point information-seeking questions, like: 'What are you here for? How do you want to spend our time together?'

3. Conversations are not meant to be structured.
Be open to conversations that you are unprepared for and focused on the
interests of the other person (not your purpose).

4. Don't get pulled into solving problems that may not matter
to the other person.

Allow time for the person to get to what's really important. Provide spaces where they can express their doubts and fears by being a thoughtful listener--without taking on the responsibility to fix or debate the issue. After all, you have invited the person to talk about what matters to her or him, not you, so allow time for the articulation of those thoughts and feelings.

5. Personal transformation happens when the right questions
get asked--not by providing answers.

When you focus on the solution, you are trying to sell the person something. When you allow people to answer their own questions, they discover what they were not aware of---and what is needed to move forward. Personal transformation leads corporate transformation--one person at a time.

Copyright © John G. Agno 2014.

About the Author:
John G. Agno, Certified Executive and Business Coach
Signature, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI 48106-2086
Telephone: 734.426.2000 (US Eastern Time Zone)

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