Perspective Taking: A (maybe-not-so) Simple Practice for Leading in Complex Times
By Karen Konrath, ICF Associate Certified Leadership Coach, July 5, 2016
P e r s p e c t i v e
As leaders, it’s a word we are all familiar with. We ask for another’s, we offer up our own, we definitely use the word liberally throughout out working days, weeks, lives.
But what’s it really about?
I recently enrolled in an amazing 12-week course offered by researchers and thought leaders in the field of adult development and leadership. The content has my head spinning! There have been so many things to think about, concepts to process and perspectives to consider – not only the perspectives of the other students in the course, but also the perspectives of the various instructors.
It was during one of these sessions, led by teacher, writer, researcher and coach Jennifer Garvey Berger, that got me thinking even more about perspectives.
Berger’s recent book, Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders, encourages leaders to adopt what she calls “three simple practices” to better navigate our ever-changing, increasingly complex world:
- Ask different questions
- Take multiple perspectives
- See the system
I was hooked! These sounded so do-able! I thought to myself, “Let’s go!”
The Parrothead Principle: Change, Colleagues & Friendly Accountability
By Karen Konrath, ICF Associate Certified Leadership Coach, June 2, 2016
Truth be told, I’m a huge Parrothead! – you know, the other word for “die-hard Jimmy Buffett fan”?! Yes, Jimmy and I go way back.
My kids, now 17 and 19, know all of the words to his songs. My husband’s wardrobe is half “Margaritaville” t-shirts – gifts from me over the years. And when I need a break from reality, my go-to playlist involves some, if not all, Buffett tunes. (Hey, everyone needs a break from reality!)
Ask any Parrothead and they’ll tell you: being part of this community brings its own “paradise” of connection.
Over the past month, I’ve been thinking about how hard it is it reach a goal or change a habit on our own. It just is. Yet so many of us want to resist help from others.
When my clients are embarking on a journey of change, I always ask them what kind of support they will need. Sometimes I hear, “Oh, I know the perfect person, how I want to engage them and what I want from them!”
But more often I hear, “I don’t think there’s anybody. I got this,” or “What? Why would I do that?”
Why do we think our problems are only our own to solve?
It’s Just a Game, Right?!: Behavior, Change & Chess
By Karen Konrath, ICF Associate Certified Leadership Coach, May 3, 2016
Have you ever played chess? I did as a kid and it was definitely not my game of choice. There was so much to remember about each piece and the specific move it was allowed to make. So much to pay attention to around my moves and the moves of my opponent. All that strategy made my head hurt!
Yet, my brother absolutely loved it. He beat me every game – yes, every game–we played. Why was this? Are we wired that differently? Was I just not as smart? Did he have some secret decoder book that gave him the answers?
I actually hadn’t thought about those days or the game itself until recently. A client and I were discussing how so many people get stuck in “reactive mode.” You know, the mode where we feel like all we’re doing is simply surviving, putting out the proverbial fires of every day? It’s the mode when we’re moving from task to task, email to email, employee issue to client issue and back again, without any clue what we’re actually accomplishing.
He saw himself there and he wanted to change. The question was: how? Read more.