Excited about the topic: “Getting to ‘NO'”: “Learn to have productive conversation around difficult issues, enable all parties to feel that they have been heard, and then say, “No.” For many, one of our first words was no, and yet we often have trouble saying it. Understanding the factors behind our own resistance will equip us to develop confidence and collegial humility in our interactions with others when we need to say no, as well as when we are told no. The goal is to maintain good working relationships while pursuing the needs of all interested parties.”
Facility Managers are the folks behind the scenes that keep everything moving. Pulled in multiple directions from top, bottom and horizontal, they have to maintain an even keel, balance competing wants and needs, and as often as possible leave folks feeling that they’ve been heard and their interests matter. This is a difficult task under any circumstances. I’m excited to offer them some additional resources and help them practice to further enhance these skills.
GETTING TO NO
William Ury wrote The Power of a Positive No as a follow-up to the original Getting to Yes, cowritten with Roger Fisher, and ten years later Getting Past No. His premise in the most recent book is that it serves as a prequel to the earlier two, laying the groundwork for the entire endeavor. Getting to Yes focuses on the outcome, Getting past no focuses on the objections of the dialogue partner, while The Power of a Positive No focuses on the self. Getting to no requires, according to Ury, understanding what our highest goals are, what we most want in the long run, rather than what we want in this moment. Acknowledging these Yeses enables us to prioritize toward needs over wants, away from immediate gratification, and to choose response over reactivity.
Bookstores have shelves filled with titles on leadership and organizational culture. Here is a sampling of popular titles on Amazon. We like to read these books, join discussion groups (which can be wonderfully helpful) and attend workshops and conferences (also great!). Unfortunately, many of us have done all these things, and then fallen short in implementing and executing the insights gained or renewed.
Coaching is a process of working one-on-one or with a group and a facilitator/coach to:
identify goals and tell a story of a preferred future
assess current strengths and growth opportunities
clarify the gaps between here/now and there/then
develop a plan to close that gap, to make the journey
MAKE THE JOURNEY!
That final step is the most difficult for many, though at any of these stages we can struggle. One major failure of leadership is to try and skip one of these stages all together.
Coaching also helps us understand our leadership culture in the organization – both our own style and that of the group. What is your leadership temperament? How does it fit with the followership styles of those in your organization? How does it fit in your context? Honest assessment of these issues is crucial to successful leadership of any organization.
You can begin by asking yourself some powerful and simple coaching questions:
Where would you personally focus your energy and attention if you had every resource and no obstacle? – This is your dream.
How do you convey this to those who follow you? – This is your message.
How would your key followers answer question #1, about themselves and about you?
How are you pursuing your dream and helping others do the same? – This is your mission.
How many different directions are the people in your organization pulling?
What is the greatest obstacle to pursuing your dream?
What is the greatest strength, in you and in your team, for accomplishing your dream?
Once you begin to answer these questions, you will discover some things about the leadership culture in your organization. Is it active or passive, assertive or withdrawn? Is it unilateral or collaborative, solitary or cooperative? Who is really leading, and who is following?
Once you have some of these answers, you have some insight into what you can address to strengthen and fully integrate your leadership culture. Contact me if you want to explore this further.