Correct or Curious?

Would you rather be curious, or correct?

I remember hearing someone describe a lesson he was taught as a child: “It’s better to be nice than to be right.”

I was shocked. Is it? (That is clearly not a childhood lesson I learned. Our family is perhaps too good at being “right.”)

This idea really turns the attention outward, doesn’t it? How different it is to be in conversation with someone who asks questions rather than making pronouncements. Continue reading “Correct or Curious?”

Brave Benchmarks

You know how it is when you are looking to buy a car, and you find yourself noticing that same model of vehicle on the road everywhere you look?

That’s what’s happening for me on the theme of courageous leadership. We discussed it at Wiser by Choice, and the topics of risk and bravery have emerged in virtually every session I’ve facilitated since, across a wide range of organizations and settings.

Bravery is a relative term. What is considered “courageous” depends heavily on the person and the context. But it also depends on the benchmark. That is, what is your starting point for measuring courage, and how gutsy is your goal from there? Continue reading “Brave Benchmarks”

Zoom farther out

The facilitation activity I use most often is a spectrum exercise. I draw a horizontal line and label each end, either with opposite words (e.g. proactive/reactive) or happy/sad faces or yes/no. Then I invite participants to mark an X where they sit on that continuum on whatever issue we’re talking about. It makes visible two different things: does the group tilt toward one pole or the other (i.e. “If this line were a teeter totter, would it tilt to the right or left?”), and how consistent are participants in their views (i.e. how spread out or clustered are their Xs)? It takes three minutes and makes lots of good information visible. I love high leverage tools.

Continue reading “Zoom farther out”