Creating a Context is a Simple and Powerful Leadership Practice.

Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in AdultLeader, AdultLeader Practices, Executive Coaching | 264 comments

thumbnailEngaging the AdultLeader is our route to leadership when we choose to apply our unique strengths, skills, and experiences with self-knowledge, purpose and commitment. It can help for us to have some specific practices, habits, and/or rituals that we regularly apply to consciously interrupt our thoughtless (without thought) habits and reactions.

One such practice is creating a leadership context. A simple definition of context is defining the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea in terms that can be fully understood and assessed.

We can do this by asking ourselves a few simple questions before we begin a conversation, meeting, presentation, email, or any other activity or form of communication that matters. With a defined context, it becomes clear how to proceed with purpose, commitment, focus and clarity.

PRACTICE:
Before I begin my conversation, meeting, presentation, email…..I regularly ask myself the following questions:

1. Why does this matter to me? Why is this important to me?
This question connects me to my purpose and values. The answer will generate energy, passion and commitment to move forward.

2. What do I want to accomplish?
This question helps me to clarify the goals or outcome I want. The answer will provide me with focus and direction.

3. Who do I want to be?
This question invites my AdultLeader to consider how I want to show up as a leader. The answer will remind me that how I show up as a leader is a choice.

The answers to these 3 questions become the foundation to answer the next question.

4. How will I do this?
This question will help me to define my strategy and tactics. The answer will move me into action that is aligned with my AdultLeader, the self that chooses to authentically and effectively bring my real self into the world.

This practice reminds you to interrupt what you are busy doing and give yourself some time for focus and reflection. It will usually take only a few moments, and may take a little while longer for a more difficult or important situation. With a defined leadership context, it becomes clear how to proceed in a manner that makes it more likely you will achieve your desired outcome.
Defining a leadership context is a practice that can become a habit or ritual.

Try it out:

1. What is a conversation, meeting, presentation, or email that is coming up that matters to you and that you would like to approach differently?

2. Take a few moments to ask yourself the 4 leadership context questions above.

3. Go try it out.

4. What did you do differently as a result of having asked yourself these questions?

5. How did it work out?

Hope it worked out well for you. Please feel free to send your comments and questions.

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