As an executive leadership coach, facilitating groups is part of my wheelhouse and I love it.
Part of the fun is adjusting in the moment. I like switching things up in real time. I like drawing on my years of experience and toolbox of strategies. I like the challenge of pivoting in the moment to ensure that the outcome is achieved. No topic plays out exactly as planned and every group has a distinct personality.
Last week, I worked with a group of state government employees whose offices had recently merged. Their leadership wanted support with helping staff get to know each other, process the change, and develop a strategic plan. It’s an agenda that usually plays out in a few different, yet similar ways.
Not with this group. This group surprised me.
Every team member was focused and engaged for the entire session. They were curious, asked questions and challenged concepts. Some pushed me for concrete examples while others dove in and shared from their own experience. Others talked about ways that supported and refuted what we were talking about. All this behavior is similar to many groups I’ve worked with.
So, what made the group different? Why did I leave feeling the group was exceptional?
Lifting each other up and leading with heart comes to mind as I reflect on my experience. Every leader in the room amplified the strengths, expertise, and intelligence of the people around them. Every leader intentionally looked for ways to work collaboratively and support each other. It felt like every leader was asking – what is my part? What can I do to make this office successful?
Every leader in the room led from the heart and it showed.