When I wrote the page for our upcoming residential workshop, I included the idea of “becoming the sort of leader you’d feel like following”. It could be a glib throwaway line, but I think it gets to something about what actually works with people. It’s about creating relationship and empathy, rather than getting stuck in the rut of being bossy or passively aggressive.
When I work with people on difficult conversations, many of the breakthroughs come when people stop trying to win, and somehow find ways to connect with the person they are thinking of as an adversary.
It’s an idea Izzy Gesell talks about in this post. I like his three part mantra of vulnerability, presence and spontaneity.
Izzy had a big impact on me when I met him years ago. As I reflect on my own practice as a facilitator since then, I think all three of those factors have been much more important than knowledge of any technique.
And I’m really looking forward to exploring this territory in more depth at the end of summer. (Full details of the workshop here.)