Creating a Deeper Connection At Work

You have to put yourself out there if you want to create an authentic connection with people. Sharing your Leadership Point of View is one of the most powerful ways to accomplish that, according to coaching expert Joni Wickline.
“Your Leadership Point of View is about the people and events that have shaped who you are. It also speaks to your values, your beliefs, and what drives you as a leader.”

For many, creating a Leadership Point of View (LPOV) is an emotional journey. Wickline says a lot of leaders play it safe when first given the chance to share.

“It’s hard to share some parts of your Leadership Point of View because it’s so personal. It’s normal to be apprehensive talking about people, experiences, and values that have made you who you are, including your expectations for yourself and others. But it will deepen the relationship between you and your direct reports. It dramatically shortens the time it takes people to get to know you as a person and as a leader.

“Of course, every leader will have their own comfort level about how much to share. How far to go and which stories to tell are for each person to choose. Somebody who has never disclosed much about themselves might not go as deep as another person who is used to being more open with people.

“But if senior level leaders at large multinational companies can pull this off, you can too. It builds understanding at a deeper level. Leadership is about people relating to one another. And who wouldn’t love to have a more productive relationship with their manager?”

The Importance of Self Awareness

Going through the process of identifying your LPOV requires time—time to reflect on yourself; what brought you to where you are today; what makes you tick. Most leaders haven’t spent much time looking back to identify where their values and beliefs came from. Wickline would be the first to admit that she fell into the same category

“When I started working on my Leadership Point of View, I had to think long and hard about my current attitudes and how they came to be. For example, when somebody tells me I can’t do something, I immediately fight against that and do whatever it takes to prove them wrong. Where on earth did that come from?”

Wickline says when leaders spend time thinking about where their values and beliefs originated, they will come up with stories they can share with people. And stories are important.

“People remember stories. If I just say, ‘Here is a list of things I think are important,’ people won’t remember that. But when I tell stories about experiences I’ve had or share something I learned from my mom or dad, it makes a connection.”

As part of her own LPOV, Wickline shares a challenge she experienced as a young college student. In her sophomore year, she lost the financial support she had her freshman year and she worried how she would be able to support herself and pay for college. A close friend told her that even though she understood the financial pressure she was under, she wasn’t much fun to be around because she was so negative.

“My first reaction was to say, ‘You don’t get it. You’ve got it made. You have no worries at all and I’m trying to figure out whether I can afford to stay in school.’ Fortunately, I reflected for a while and put myself in her shoes, which is something I learned from my mother. After thinking about what she said, I realized she was right—I wouldn’t want to be friends with me, either!

“It took some time, but eventually I did thank my friend for her feedback. It helped me recognize how much my attitude was shaping both how I felt about myself and how other people saw me. I could choose to be more positive. Regardless of the circumstances, I had a choice how to react.

“I wouldn’t say it was an instantaneous change, but that incident flipped a switch inside me. Soon after, I read The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. The book inspired me to reflect on what I had in my life versus what I didn't have and gave me a new perspective for embracing challenges that came my way.  I became a much happier person. Even when things were tough, I realized it didn’t help to whine or complain about it. I could choose instead to look at what I did have.”

Wickline knows that sharing a story like this as part of her LPOV helps people better understand her tendency to see the bright side of situations.

“I’ll always believe things can get better—and I’ll always strive to see life from a positive perspective.”

Make Sure it’s Your Story

It’s important to share your authentic self, reminds Wickline. She once worked with a leader who asked to hear her story as an example of a good presentation so that he could better shape his.

“He told me he really resonated with my story—but I reminded him it was my story, and he needed to tell his. He insisted he could just refine mine with a little bit of tweaking here and there, but I continued to steer him away from that idea.

“I told him, ‘No, the story won’t sound authentic if you try to frame it as your own.’ The goal—and the power—is in sharing your true, authentic self. We each have many stories no one else can tell.”

A Learning Experience for You and Your People

In encouraging leaders to share their story, Wickline relates positive experiences others have had after crafting their LPOV. “People who put the time and energy into this process consistently look back on the experience as something that helped them rediscover the values and beliefs they hold dear. Sharing your story with your team creates a deep connection that might have taken years to accomplish—if it happened at all.”

Wickline offers encouragement to others who are thinking about going through the LPOV process.

“So what are the stories that illustrate your values that you could share with others? What’s happened in your life? Who can you point to as a personal influence that will help your team learn more about what makes you tick? Creating and sharing your Leadership Point of View is a wonderful gift to give to yourself, your people, and your organization.”

Would you like to learn more about the power of sharing your own Leadership Point of View? Then join us for a free webinar!
Creating a Deeper Connection: Sharing Your Leadership Point of View

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
As a leader, you have an opportunity to create a deeper connection with your people—one that is filled with trust, understanding, and authenticity. But you have to take the first step.

In this webinar, coaching expert Joni Wickline looks at how preparing and sharing your Leadership Point of View creates that connection through stories about the people and events that shaped you as a leader.

Participants will learn:

  • How to prepare to tell your story: giving yourself time to reflect, identify, and refine what you want to say.
  • The key components of a Leadership Point of View: what to be sure to cover.
  • The power of story: sharing the important events in your life in a way that engages people and brings your experiences to life.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to improve your relationship with your people. Whether you are introducing yourself to a new team or looking to deepen your relationship with your existing team, sharing your Leadership Point of View provides the foundation for a closer connection and better understanding with everyone you work with.

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