A CEO called me early this morning. He was frustrated. His VP of sales 'wasn't getting it done.' She spent too much time on 'housekeeping' items - things that needed to be done around the office but that took her time away from selling product.
He said 'I tried to explain to her that her numbers were what kept us alive. Without her meeting her numbers the best run office in the world would be out of business.'
I coached him this way: she reads your mood before she hears your words. Your mood is angry and defeatist. Your words though rational can't be heard within the context of your angry mood.'
I thought of marriage, mine and others. Communication that is based in judgment, demands, diagnosis or theories about the other is communication destined for failure. When I take 100% responsibility for my own feelings and move toward changing an angry mood to a proposal for positive action I have increased my chances of being heard and my partners chances of being in relationship with me.
The CEO did this: he worked on solving the issues that got the attention of his VP of sales. He proactively set in motion specific ways to consistently address those issues. He removed her from 'the loop' of maintaining order at the office. Then he coached her in focusing on their agreed upon goals showing her a pathway in which she could succeed.
Leadership works in relationship. If you abandon your own self indulgence, and focus on what your partner needs you can create a situation in which you get what you need and they do as well.
"I saw a boy standing in a field of grass, late spring with a warm breeze and a horse feeding a short distance off. Warm sun, occassional flowers among the grass."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008