Over the Thanksgiving holiday I read David McCullough’s biography, The Wright Brothers, something I encourage anyone reading this to do as well.
In the days before, as we prepared to update and further document our thoughts on Connected Communications, I had re-read a number of books and articles that had, along with our own experiences and lessons learned from 30-plus years of training, influenced or reinforced our initial thinking when we created CODA’s model for Connected Communications. It was likely the proximity of these two reading and reflective experiences that led me to place significance on this quote from Wilbur and Orville Wright. These words below documented the manner in which they approached their lives in general and their work on flying machines that changed our world.
The best dividends on the labor invested have invariably come from seeking more knowledge rather than power.
While the Wright Brothers were most certainly talking about horsepower, my mind quickly concluded that the same applies to personal power, positional power, and all other forms of power we may use to exert our will and our influence.
Connected Communications are those conversations in which all parties begin by striving for clarity of understanding with regards to the motives, interests, concerns, and feelings of the others. Before we can connect with others in ways that allow us to influence their beliefs and actions, resolve our differences, solve problems or collaborate effectively, we must first examine that which each party believes, that which each party seeks to accomplish, and that which each party is feeling. We must invest “the labor” to acquire this knowledge so that we might connect at the core of the issue and make that connection where we, and the others are, not where we wish ourselves and them to be.
In Connected Communications, that “best dividend” comes after we demonstrate our eagerness to examine and to learn about the others – their beliefs, motives, interests, concerns, and feelings and to examine and reflect upon our own beliefs, motives, interests, concerns and feelings. When we invest our time and focus on seeking more knowledge” those “best dividends” are in fact the power and influence that results.
Through our journey as leaders and as developers of individuals, leaders, teams and organizations we have discovered, and confirmed, that we are best able to influence others when we are willing to be influenced by them. In other words, we enjoy connected communications when, upon learning and reflecting about our individual and shared beliefs, motives, interests, concerns and feelings, we apply this knowledge to resolving our true differences, re-defining the problems we must solve from our new found shared perspectives, and collaborate in ways that more quickly identify, reduce or remove barriers.
To learn more about the Connected Communications model and training materials and programs contact:firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Kathy Davanzo, CODA Partners, Inc. and Connected Leadership. (2015). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathy Davanzo, CODA Partners, Inc., and referencing the Connected Leadership blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Leader P.O.V.® and CODA Partners® are registered trademarks of CODA Partners, Inc. All rights reserved.