Pete and his colleague, Krysla Hudek, have recently published a book, Living your values setting out 14 breakthrough leadership behaviours to support teams in working more closely together, in preparation for when we finally move out of lockdown.
Before our meeting Pete has shared more detail on one of the most powerful breakthrough behaviours known as “connect not convince”. The extract below from Living Your Values explains why he thinks it can help transform how you work as a team:
Connect not convince – incredibly hard AND a gem!
This extract from Living your values is about our sixth breakthrough behaviour, expressed as a question for teams to consider together:
- To what extent do you connect with others’ ideas and hold back from trying to convince them that you are right?
Simply put, this behaviour insists that there is a world of difference between asking others to accept that you are right and asking them to share their thinking with you on the basis that you’re open to being persuaded that you are wrong and they are right!
Connection rather than persuasion
In order to achieve this, it needs to be about your ambition to place a higher value on connecting with the viewpoints of others in your team rather than persuading them to support yours.
The standard-setting sits in how you behave towards each other in the moment and then how you feed back the ways in which your thinking has moved forward after a little time to reflect on what others have said.
The reason “connect not convince” has felt so exciting when we have discussed it with different teams is because it is utterly different from how most leaders believe they are meant to behave once they have their seat at the top table.
So many have become senior leaders with an assumption in their minds that to show themselves worthy of becoming a Chief Executive they need to have a keen view on just about any topic that comes up for discussion.
They need to “know their own mind” and demonstrate confidence and clarity of thought at all times.
From this standpoint, it is only too easy to develop a habit of over-arguing on behalf of what we believe to be right.
This is why it is so important that where a team decides to take on “connect not convince” as a shared habit, members agree to remind each other of this when they find themselves over-defending a particular position, as they are bound sometimes to do!
No imaginary steam-roller
The proposition here is that the prize of achieving a greater connection with others far outweighs the benefits that we can sometimes gain by going hard out to win an argument and managing to trounce any possible opposition from within the room within a few minutes.
When some CEOs hear about “connect not convince” they assume it means that if others disagree with them they are obliged to keel over and not do what they believe to be right. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We believe fundamentally that all leaders should do what they believe to be right. Sometimes it might well be the “right thing” for a Chief Executive to follow a particular course of action even if every other member of their leadership team believes that this would be a mistake.
Leaders all have to make up their own minds about what they believe to be the “right thing” to do.
What this particular breakthrough behaviour challenges is the habit of climbing into an imaginary steam-roller and driving straight at someone who disagrees with what is being proposed.
Living your values - now on Amazon books - offers a framework for teams to discuss to what extent you:
- Continually challenge your own ways of thinking
- Let yourself talk about your strengths and weaknesses in a relaxed way
- Feel able to ask your colleagues for help
- Champion members of the team in ways that affirm their distinctive specialness
- Show curiosity before letting yourself challenge colleagues’ ideas
- Connect with others’ ideas and hold back from trying to convince them that you are right
- Try to stand in the shoes of colleagues in different work settings
- Regard your word as your bond
- Embrace collective responsibility and support all decisions made by your team
- Hold yourself accountable to your team
- Call out unhelpful behaviours in the moment
- Initiate difficult conversations that may make you and others feel uncomfortable
- Invite and offer verbal feedback as a natural part of daily conversation
- Show kindness to yourself as a leader.
Please join us on Thursday 11th February at 8.30am to discuss these Leadership Values in more detail and to think about how you could use them in your organisation.