insium's newsletter on Leadership: August, 2015

Written by  Friday, 04 September 2015
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The focus of this month's newsletter is my learning from the WCPP2015 The Power and Possibilities of High Quality Connections at Work workshop facilitated by Jane Dutton, Co-founder of Centre for Positive Organizations, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Jane posed 2 key questions at the beginning of the workshop:
* Why do people flourish in some organisations and not others?
* Why do you flourish in some organisations and not others?
based on the core claim that more high quality connections (HQCs) between people during the day foster individual, team and collective flourishing.

HQCs are energising; they are mutual and each person holds the other in positive regard. The value of HQCs at work include1:
- Increased well-being
- Enhanced physiological resources
- Greater cognitive functioning
- Increased trust
- Increased learning
- Increase resilience
- Increased commitment and engagement
- Increased creativity
- Increased shared knowledge and goals, resulting in increased quality and performance

Jane recommends 4 pathways for building HQCs at work:

1. Respectful engagement – that is, engage with others in ways that convey their personal value and worth. Strategies include:
- Be present for and attentive to others; reserve judgement
- Listen and communicate affirmatively and supportively
- Provide and seek feedback

Ask yourself:
* What is the most important thing you do to be present for others?
* What does your organisation do to be present for others?
* Where do you focus most often – on the affirmative or the deficit?

2. Task enabling – that is, invest in and facilitate the successful performance of others. Strategies include:
- Engage in teaching opportunities and provide assistance on tasks as required
- Encourage and support mentoring and coaching
- Nurture others through role-modelling and providing emotional support
- Advocate for others, providing visibility and access to senior leadership

Ask yourself:
* Which of these strategies do you use often? What is the impact of your action?
* What is one insight you have into who you are enabling and how you are doing this?
* Do those around you know what forms of enabling work best for you?
* Do the people who are enabling you know that they are making a difference to you?

3. Trusting – that is, convey to others that you believe that they are dependable and will meet expectations. Strategies include:
- Be vulnerable, be open, be authentic
- Be consistent in your behaviour and actions
- Share resources
- Seek input and feedback into your work
- Delegate responsibilities and allow people to do the work without excessive monitoring

Ask yourself:
* How open are you? How often do you make the first move (and be vulnerable)?
* What do you do to build trust with others?
* What enablers and disablers of trust exist in your workplace?

4. Playing – that is, have fun with others because moments of play are moments of exploration often building knowledge and broadening actions; because moments of play build positive emotions. Strategies include:
- Team building
- Volunteer days
- Have playful spaces at work
- Celebrate!

Ask yourself:
* To what degree do you value playfulness in the workplace?
* How playful are you? Why? Why not?
* What do you do to formally and informally create a playful environment at work?
* What does your organisation do to encourage playfulness? Note: playfulness is being childlike, not childish.

We might know the above intuitively, but what is important is that, as leaders, we bring this knowledge to our consciousness so that we role-model desired behaviours and intentionally implement strategies for building HQCs in order for individuals, teams and our organisations to flourish. A comment made by Jane in the workshop was, “Positive leaders create more HQCs for themselves and others (in order to flourish).” Do you consider yourself to be a positive leader?

Some of the questions posed above are those suggested by Jane; others are typical questions that we ask to build high quality connections with our clients and our coaching counterparts. Let us know if you’d like to have this discussion with us.

If you'd like to download a copy of this newsletter, you can do so via this link: insium newsletter August 2015. If you'd like to join our mailing list and receive our newsletter regularly, click on the "News" link in the "About" section of our website and complete the form.

1. Dutton, J.E, & Spreitzer, G.M. (Eds.) (2014). How to be a positive leader – Small actions, big impacts. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Read 887 times Last modified on Friday, 25 September 2015 02:59