I have always been impressed by the great leaders in my life who are able to walk into a situation, a difficult conversation or a meeting and in a virtually flawless participation, these leaders are able to remain composed, answer questions and arrive at the outcomes they desired. Outcomes they expected before even entering the room! This skill is very thoughtful and can best be described as ‘Envisioning the Moment before you Live the Moment’.
This is so important. Let’s consider how this works:
- Review your schedule everyday
These are the planned items up for discussion throughout the day. Put another way, these are the conversations that are planned to occur. Key things to think about when reviewing these items include agendas that have been set, purpose of the item, the rationale for your involvement (what do you bring to the meeting?) and your own knowledge on the meeting topic.
- Review the participants of your day
These are the planned people you will interact with throughout the day. First, there will be a point of interaction between the attendees of the meetings on your schedule and these will be the formal participants to your day. Your latest conversations (even off the topic of planned meetings!) and your expectations for their views of meeting topics will help you to envision those moments that will occur in the days meetings. Second, you have recent and on-going conversations and interactions that are with individuals you see regularly or who happen to be top of mind but are not in your schedule for the day and these are the informal participants of your day. Envisioning the possible interactions with these people can help the little surprise conversations that occur each day!
- Envision the outcomes others want from you
This step is considering the intersections of your schedule and your formal and informal participants in your day to think about what the people you interact with through the day have for expectations from you. Questions to ask here might be: why is this interaction occurring? what can I provide to this person – knowledge? a decision? Having this step in your mind is important when having these interactions change the other steps. This step allows you to effective interactions with others.
- Envision the outcomes you want from you
This final step is considering the full picture of your schedule, your participants and what is expected of you to being able to envision how your agenda, needs and wants from
Being able to develop and utilize this skill will make you a more effective and efficient leader. Over time, it will be easier to make these connections. When starting out, I recommend spending 30 minutes at the start of your day to consider these steps and watch as your team benefits from this thoughtful and purposeful leadership skill.