- Did I help my audience listen (daily, during the week)? Daily (perhaps at lunch or at the end of the day), consider the various interactions you participated in so far that day, whether or not you led the conversation. Use the prompts below to jog your thinking, and spend five minutes journaling your responses:
- Were all attendees listening to and engaging with the topics at hand?
- Was there any entrenchment or defending of positions?
- Was there time for exploring ideas?
- Where might participants have been out of alignment? What were the opportunities for greater alignment?
- What process moves might have been used in the first place to avoid any tensions you witnessed?
- Was there any opportunity where I or someone else could have used a form of asking rather than telling to be more open?
- Test your balance (at least 1x this week). Try to identify a meeting you have this week where you are planning to advance a point of view or course of action. Observe yourself in this interaction, and try to detect where you naturally fall on the advocacy-inquiry spectrum. Consider whether your manner is intentional or whether it is habitual, fear-driven, or reactive in any way. Consider whether shifting the balance would be useful. Pick a low-stakes interaction, and try practicing with bringing more of a balanced approach.
Pro tip: Don’t get hung up if all your meetings this week go smoothly and you aren’t finding a huge set of data. A lot of meetings go very well and maybe you are having a week full of those, you lucky dog! The exercise is useful simply for the fact of running through the questions as you review your day, regardless. You are building the muscle of thinking in this way about your meetings so that eventually you will be able to perform this analysis very quickly real-time.