Listening, Learning & Helping as a Team

I have memories of walking the beach wanting to talk about some work or life issue with my husband and the subsequent frustrations for both of us when our responses to my verbal deluge were so different. It seemed each time he'd step in to091423 - Dawn Blog Image solve the presenting problem (as he discerned it), imagining that's what I wanted and needed! And just as often, I recall my disappointment for him not allowing me the time to bat around some possibilities before jumping into the conversation dispensing judgment of what was good, bad, or otherwise. The result too often has been him frustrated that his desire to help was not being received as such and my frustration with not being fully heard without becoming the object of what needed solving. We each mean well but our temperaments are so different. We've each grown in our ability to relate to each other's situations in ways the other values. Some of my responses have become healthier because I've learned the effectiveness of not solving others' problems but instead the transforming power of leaning in as a helper, believing others can solve their own problem or determine what they need with the proper support. It is living out a combination of process consulting and a coaching approach. 

Executive coaching takes the view as extolled by the International Coach Federation that each person is creative, resourceful, and whole. That means I am not fixing a leader when employed by them. I am helping them see the boulders, and where they may trip themselves up on their way to more effective leadership of people and companies they love. They will discern what they need to do next, and I can help them find the courage and steps they are willing to take to get them to the next level of their perceived success. 

Process Consulting is the lens through which I also support senior leaders. It is the belief system I hold most dear that, alongside a trustworthy and caring partnership with leaders and their teams, brings about the best and most sustaining change patterns in them to truly transform their vibrant future. Process Consulting is an iterative form of humble inquiry and guidance in which the consultant works alongside the client to co-create solutions. This type of help brings sustainable success for our clients. A process approach to consulting embraces complexity, digs deeper to uncover real purpose, values organizational strengths, grows leadership capacity, and deepens relationships inside and outside an organization. A process consultant's purpose is not to provide ready-made solutions but to advance the client's growth and learning through an authentic discovery process. Our craft of process consulting uniquely qualifies our team to garner the Whys behind the What in facilitating and leading stakeholders to identify their needs, especially when adaptive change is involved. We follow and adhere to the 12 core competencies of our craft that bring to life how we listen, help, and learn, working together with you for your organization's vibrant future. And then, by acting on the competencies of listening, helping, and learning, we can effectively lead your teams to discern, determine, and lean into their decision-making with clear road maps and resources for the future. 

PCT 201 - OCT 12 (2) So, why not use some of your budget to join the Oct. PCT 201 online class with me as your facilitator on learning how to practice listening, helping, and learning more effectively in your role? Or perhaps you can join an in-person PCT 201 in Boise, Idaho, led by Dr. Mark L. Vincent. Join one of us this fall because it will change your leadership as you, too, lean into less telling, less judgment, more targeted, laser-focused questions, and more questions to test together with your team members on what they need to solve their problems. You, as the Supervisor, become the wise sage who empowers your team members towards success because you will understand more about how to practice listening, learning, and therefore, what true helping looks like in the work world and, yes, even in the familial "walk the beach" world with a loved one. 

Some possible relevant real-life takeaways for you:

Listening Actively and Comprehensively 

This will allow you to be a more collaborative leader, inviting differing views andListening-4 perspectives so you have a broader idea of all the systems impacting what needs changing. Instead of being a command-and-tell or top-down authoritarian seeing only the tree before you, you will more readily see the forest and the tree when you learn to practice active and comprehensive listening. Listening in such a way helps leaders make wiser and more impactful decisions to promote team engagement and extended loyalty, resulting in increased success. 


Helping Client-Owned and Inspired 

It helps put the client, customer, student, and patient (whoever is receiving your services) in the front seat of making meaning and commitment to their action steps. helpingYes, as the leader, you feel your head is on the platter as the responsible one. You have knowledge and expertise and are anxious to dispense such on the world and to make others' lives better. But plans sold that sit on the shelf don't make any impact. Polite nods don't translate into change. We intuitively know that the customer, the direct report, needs to buy into the proposed action step to make it happen well. But do you know how to invite the one you lead or offer a service to say what they need and want honestly? Test what you're hearing and test it again before working to write the action plan. Unless the targeted "others" see the plan as their plan, as one they've helped to create- it is simply a pretty plan that may get adopted and sponsored - but will most likely impact little transformation in the organization. 

Learning in Partnership 

This can be vulnerable and is a powerful state of the relationship between twoLearning-4 committed practitioners to develop the leader and the organization. It is when "I'm not sure," and "I don't know," and "I'm not clear yet" are present but said with cautious confidence. Confidence because Learning in Partnership believes that an alongside partner will help the client see what they didn't see before as more Why, Who, What, When, Where, and How's are answered in response to inquiry - the plans become more targeted and accurate to make effective change. You do not know all the answers now. I do not know all the answers ahead of time for your unique situation. If we put our heads together, we can let the data, the people, and the solutions offered teach us the best possibilities going forward. 

The descriptions above of Listening Actively and Comprehensively, Helping Client-Owned and Inspired, and Learning in Partnership are simply three examples to empower your leadership to make the most significant impact on your team members and those with whom you relate as customers. Check out the total list of 12 core competencies of the process consulting approach below. Developing these characteristics will help you lead more effectively and are the backbone of work and life applicational learning in PCT 201. 

    1. Listening Actively and Comprehensively
    2. Listening Conceptually and Contextually
    3. Listening Architecturally
    4. Listening Adaptively
    5. Helping Client Centered
    6. Helping Client-Owned/Inspired
    7. Helping Client Specific
    8. Helping Client Success
    9. Learning In Partnership
    10. Learning Toward Wisdom
    11. Learning To Exchange
    12. Learning Toward Posterity

dawnmarkpct201.pptxWhen my husband and I walk the beach, and if he desires to pontificate away about how he's working through this or that, I want to build what I know of what he's said before, felt before, his learning style, temperament, and listen architecturally. I want to help by focusing on his well-being and celebrating his success. I want to learn from him and be present and ready to share my developing ideas when and if he invites or requests such. I want to apply process consulting's core competencies even to my personal relationships. Think about how developing these competencies will improve your leadership's effectiveness at work. Join Dr. Mark L. Vincent in Boise for an in-person PCT201 experience, or join me online with persons where geography doesn't dictate our gatherings. I welcome your relationship and our learning together. 

Transforming influence alongside you, 

Dawn Signature


What I’m Reading:

  • For a thought-provoking novel, check out The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell
    How does a woman fit into her purpose in the Italian ranks of nobility in the 1500s? The need for heirs, the different training for girl and boy children, the blame towards women when pregnancies don't happen, and the weight of what menses signify when one is removed from one's home with a bride price to secure borders and power. Women and our role in power. Loosely based on Lucrezia di Cosimo de'Medici's life experience as a child, and then teenager as a woman during the Italian Renaissance. 

Dawn - Blog Email Header

Dawn Yoder Graber
Post by Dawn Yoder Graber
September 14, 2023
Coach to Rising Women Executives & Energizing Educator for your Team’s Targeted Learning Opportunities.