Leadership Coaching – Respect rank but relate as equals
I’m Sari van Poelje, and I’m an expert in business innovation. I help businesses innovate more quickly than their products, so that you’re time to market is accelerated. One of the things that really helps is leadership team coaching. What I pay attention to in this coaching is usually silences, stories and sequences.
In the last video we talked about the sequence of ego states.
What I’d like to talk about now is the sequence of relationships and communication. Sometimes I notice that leaders are really stuck in certain relational patterns. So for instance they find themselves top down.. Yes in position and rank you are perhaps more ‘top’ but in terms of relationship I think a good leader should be at an equal level with her people, else you don’t promote initiative or leadership in your employees.
What we teach people in leadership team coaching or leadership coaching is really to recognize the difference in rank but to communicate and relate in equality.
So what do I use for this? Well first of all it’s really good if you can distinguish if people are an equal or higher or lower level, as a leader. We often see that leaders create what we call symbiotic chains. It’s as if they position themselves on top, and they’re the ones thinking for the organization, and they expect their employees to just execute what they think. That means that employees are excluding their Adult and Parent function, and the leader is probably excluding their Child ego state.
Neither is a very healthy position to be in. When you exclude your Child ego state, everything that’s intuitive, feeling, spontaneous, relating, intimate in your life, that means you become a kind of a robot thinker who has values and norms but doesn’t feel very much. Not a good place for a leader to be.
When employees exclude their Parent and Adult ego state they’re just executing and in submission. What they’re excluding is their ability to think, to have values and ethical norms. Not a good place to be for an employee.
We teach people, in terms of relating in a healthy way, is yes respect the rank but relate equally. That means that we teach people to communicate in a way that invites leadership from employees, asking questions, asking why, asking what would you do, instead of just telling them and giving orders from a position of I know best.
If you want your organization to innovate teach them to lead differently.