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Supporting organisations to bridge the gap between strategy and action at moments of change, making sense and shaping conversations with Big Pictures.

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Filtering by Category: Communication

Me and my Shadow: How can I know what impact I have on other people in meetings?

julian burton

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For me my shadow side is the parts of me I can’t see or I’m completely unconscious of that drive my behaviours and has a significant impact on the quality of my relationships. Have you been in a meeting recently and felt disempowered by someone who has dominated the conversation so much that there was no space for anyone else’s views? Or it felt too risky to share your thoughts, let alone give them feedback on their impact on you?

I’ve only learnt recently that sometimes my silence in a meeting can shut others down more often than my voice does! Since getting that gift of feedback I’ve become more sensitive to what happens in the interactions that I'm taking a part in. And I've become more curious about how I show up, and now want to learn more about the parts of my shadow that closes down others' voices and contributions.

Given that I can’t normally see my own behaviours, I really need others to give me honest feedback on what they see and the impact they have. The trouble is there can often be different realities existing simultaneously in a meeting; what I think I’m doing and how I like to think I’m showing up, and how others see me behaving. It can be obvious to other people how I’m behaving, yet hard or impossible for them to give me feedback if they don’t trust me or it doesn’t feel safe enough.

This is a real bind for me, as how can I learn to develop my self-awareness if it’s not safe enough for others to speak up and give me feedback on my behaviour?  If I don’t know what impact I’m having I can’t learn to change my behaviours - to the ones that could create the relationships of trust needed for it to be safe enough for people to give me feedback in the first place! AARRGHH!

Moving on from my frustrations, I’ve been getting a sense that I need to work on learning to listen more deeply and actively, from a calmer place, responding differently from this position and noticing what happens. If the quality of trust shifts, I hope to get more feedback that can shine some light onto to the parts of my shadow that seem to close down others and get in the way of more open and honest conversations.

 

 

 

 

Are we collaborating?

Chris Hayes

“Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organisations working together to realise shared goals.”

 But what does it take to truly collaborate?

We believe that it takes trust, empathy and balance for a whole team to be effective.  Collaboration needs self-awareness and an understanding of everyone's strengths and weaknesses, so that the achievement is that of the team, not just the individual.

How can we nurture a safe space to be able to speak?

Elinor Rebeiro

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I am sitting in a meeting and there is silence from everyone but the leader of the session. They have asked a question and no-one is answering, why? When I think of my own experiences, when I don’t feel able to speak it is a very physical response to something that is unconsciously in the room. My voice literally cannot be pulled from me. It builds and swells deep in my stomach, but will go no further. A friend describes his as stopping in his throat. Yet neither of us can really articulate what exactly it is that stops us. There is something about that space that doesn’t make it safe to let my voice out. It is about the people in the room, the positioning of the meeting or session, the contradictions between meaning and what is spoken, the emotional state of the participants before they even enter the room.

In a moment of complete silence I wonder what other people’s reasons are for not speaking and what we could learn if we took a moment and were brave and inquisitive enough to explore them.