Your Experience + The Leadership Talk = Great Leadership

The author asserts that most leaders neglect the human relations aspects of the challenges they face, diminishing their results-generating potential.  He provides a tool that's been working for leaders for more than two decades to achieve great results by developing great relationships.

By Brent Filson - 2006

To best communicate an idea, wrap it in a human being.  Words can be superficial aspects of communication.  True communication, for better or worse, happens through deep, human interactions that transcend words. Even though words may be exchanged and at times be necessary, they are not sufficient to explain or promote communication's aggregate opportunities.  
For instance, you're having an argument with someone.  You're getting angry.  You're saying things you're hardly aware of, things to defend yourself and attack the other person.  You feel injured and want to justify yourself and make the other person see your side and maybe even hurt that person.  You're borne along on a current of hot emotion. Later, you may regret the words you used.  Or you may get even angrier over the words the other person used.  Later, you may think of something biting you should have said.  The point is, the words, like froth on the roiling river of your being, were really a partial aspect of your experience. The words may have provoked anger in you and the other person, but the anger itself, the experience of it, the pain of it, the all consuming nature of it, and even quite possibly the perverse pleasure of it, goes beyond words.
This is a leadership lesson.  Working with leaders of all ranks and functions worldwide for the past 22 years, I've seen that most either misunderstand this truth of human nature or miss it altogether.  When communicating with others, they primarily go for a narrow band of information dissemination and overlook what can be of tremendous benefit to them, the broadband of human relationships and the rich development that can take place in those relationships.
The irony is that as human beings, we swim in relationships --good, bad or indifferent relationships --every day. However, relationships are so familiar to us, we ignore their uniqueness and their importance in driving leadership results.  We grasp at meager bubbles while all around us and beneath us lies an ocean teeming with results-engendering opportunities.
How do we seize these opportunities?  I teach a process to do just that.  That process is the Leadership Talk.
The Leadership Talk has one objective: to help leaders get great results -- far more results than if they do not use it.  I call it, "More results faster continually."  Leaders can only get more-faster-continually by mining relationships through Leadership Talks.
The Leadership Talk is based on the idea that leaders speak 15 to 20 times and more a day: across a desk, at a water cooler, at lunch, in meetings, etc.  When those speaking opportunities are manifested through Leadership Talks, the effectiveness of the leader is dramatically increased.  
In my articles and books, I've explained the inner workings and the personal and professional benefits of the Leadership Talk.  Suffice to say, whenever you intend to communicate as a leader, you should assess not only the information you want to impart but also the human relations aspects of how you will go imparting it -- and then use the Leadership Talk to further those relationships and the results they engender. 
For instance, the Leadership Talk teaches that the best way to get results is not to order people to do a job but to motivate them to choose to be your cause leader in doing that job.  This is an obvious point.  What's not obvious is how you do it.  One way is to transfer your motivation to others. 
A key Leadership Talk process tackles this challenge.  The process is called "the motivational transfer." Its aim is to interact with the people you lead in such a way that they become as motivated as you about tackling the challenge you face.  You can make that transfer happen by (1) imparting information to the people, (2) making sure that what you have to communicate makes sense to them, (3) making your experience their experience. 
The latter is by far the most effective way to promote a motivational transfer.  You have your experience become their experience simply by remembering those experiences in your life that had a strong impact on you and that provided a lesson to solve the problem of their needs -- then simply communicating that experience and the lesson. 
When your experience becomes their experience, you are on your way to delving into those deep, human, emotional aspects of their realities, aspects that are triggers for great results. 
You are the absolute expert on your own experience.  When that experience becomes a solution to their needs, it'll become their experience too; and when it does, you'll have laid the groundwork for becoming an exceptional leader.


2006© The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He is founder and president of The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. – Celebrating 25 years of helping leaders of top companies worldwide achieve outstanding results every day. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get his FREE report "7 Steps To Leadership Mastery"