Your Rhythm in Leading – Part 5 of 7

Voice of the Other

Hear the Middle Melody

Through the years of consciously supporting the growth and development of others, I have consequently learned much about personality preferences. We learn about these individual preferences through instruments that type our personality.

I don’t care much for the term “personality type.” I much prefer to reference one’s preferences, for that’s all the varying personality scales are supposedly measuring, a first order of go to in one’s regular activities and interactions. The natural reflex of such preferences can also find us automatically holding a clouded filter through which to feel, hear, and see.

This level of knowledge with preferences has, through experience, taught me much about voice. There seems to be a rather consistent (although somewhat generic) correlation of voice preference with behavioral preference. Instead of a false confidence with such knowledge, I feel a growing accountability to better understand what I know about individual voice, the correlation of voice to Trueness, and the unifying influence of voice consciousness in a needy, 21st Century world.

Fortunate I am to have individuals with whom I regularly learn as we talk, with mutual intentionality, about voice in life and work. Dan Roller is one such person. He willingly holds the creative tension of leading in the 21st Century. Dan’s voice is Centeredness. His work, and purpose, is about showing others the value in what they do through who they are.

You Lead Who You Are

In a podcast conversation with Dan, he talked about being present to others by being present to self. As part of a contemplative practice as a leader, he asks himself in the moments with others, “Who am I being?”

Dan says that to be in relationship with others, and really pay attention to what makes them come alive and contribute in work that they value, we must employ generous listening that actually helps the other know his or her own value. That is when the individual can feel, hear, and see that what they do indeed makes a real difference.

In the work he does, Dan has become a facilitator of conversations intended to draw out the voice of the other. Who he is being in such work is most effective when he is operating from his Trueness. A determining factor of what and how you hear, when with others, is the influence of who you are being when you listen, or when you think you’re listening.

What You Choose

We all have filters clouded by unconscious wearing. Dan believes we can consciously choose to see differently, and therefore to see much more. In the process of choice, you can open to other ways to see situations, and other ways to see the other person.

When in the presence of another, Dan pays attention to who he is being and to what he is choosing to do. As he encourages us, this takes discipline to practice. Filters find their way over our way of feeling, hearing, and seeing very easily.

Dan tells a story of a young man who stood at the microphone at a meeting being conducted about a code of conduct being instated by a school district where Dan consults. He admits to a filter he was wearing as the young man talked; viewing through his get-to-the-point filter (one of those preferences I mentioned), Dan felt the speaker was rambling. He caught himself, removed the filter, and opened his listening (letting go of the filter’s clouded script), and began to hear the voice of the other. He chose to listen for the voice of this young man in what was being said. In the process, Dan found the meeting to be a much more meaningful experience.

Learning to listen to self allows you to become a more generous listener to the voice of the other. Learning to consistently practice present listening to another makes you better able to hear your own voice.

Being able to see yourself, and how you are being with a certain situation, can open your practice of presence. Dan told me that presence, or being present, must become more than something you turn on and off. It is a way of being, a way of being with the other. It is a choice, a choice to feel, hear, and see the reality spoken through the voice of another.

“A moment of Trueness exists when passion, purpose, and presence have aligned and I’m being true to both self and the other in the moment of presence I’ve been given with them.”

When you are truly driven by desire and drawn by intent, then from the middle melody of Trueness you are able to expand into other dimensions of preference and behavior. Successful expansion occurs as you apply your own voice and practice hearing the voice of the other. Together our voices find flow and confident resonance.

Thank you Dan for being a leader willing to be in the conversation with us, and for choosing to feel, hear, and see with us.

A Leadership Poem: Earning the Return

Dan Roller 2Dan Roller has dedicated his energy to helping leaders and organizations build the capabilities they need to execute on what matters most to them. Dan founded Acris Consulting to bring the expertise of those who have a passion for execution to the field of education where he first began his career as a secondary and post-secondary teacher.

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Skillfully Generous – Focus (Coming Together)

Dave and John are two leaders who are skillfully generous in their own specialized ways. Each approach, while different, exhibits powerful similarity: Focus−an attraction to a common, collaborative center.

Dave is a natural storyteller. He leads with story−a commitment to the priority of coming together. Dave keeps those he leads in the story. As all are busy with implementation and execution, he continually helps each individual “see” the value of any desired direction, and possible consequent action, in terms of People Value.

Too many in leadership positions know intellectually the right things to do but are held back from generous action debilitated by busyness. Not John. Dedicated to the same priority as Dave to the coming together, John draws individuals toward a collaborative center by simply showing up. As the one in-charge he is anything but elusive. John is committed to his connection methodology of simply stopping by to talk with individuals throughout the organization. He shows up at events where he listens to thought leaders and customers.

Personal presence, confident and open, is the source for focus; a drawing of individual energy to a collaborative center. And the leader’s generous delight keeps us energized for the work of the moment and for the next challenge.

Dave and John seek out information important to collective, focused direction.

Dave’s leadership in and with the story is balanced by his stand that What is for the mind and Why is for the heart. Both he and John know you must have both for people to be engaged.

Whether it is pulling us together in and by the story or modeling for us how to collaborate in the story, it is the generosity of leaders like Dave and John that draws us in and then out.

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Skillfully Generous – A New Confidence (At Home with Self)

A New Confidence is a generous bearing−and your steady walk in purpose. A new confidence grows from the generative capacity of awareness.

The confluence of your desire and your intent flows your energy through a new confidence; a proliferating presence. When you as our leader openly, consciously, and consistently grow in the moments unfolding before us, we grow commensurately. This reality is yet further support for a principal factor in one’s own growth: the confident energy applied through centered discipline to grow and develop.

Are you at home with who you are and what you gladly give as a leader?

It is an intensely difficult proposition to engage in associated tasks of opening a door to true self for another when one’s own door is locked tight.

“Once your soul comes to its True Self, it can amazingly let go and be almost anything except selfish or separate. … It has already achieved its purpose in pure being more than in any specific doing of this or that.”
−Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond

You cannot lead another home if you haven’t found home yourself. At the home of true self you found the foundation for A New Confidence; the confident energy of purpose.

The journey of leadership will often take you through rugged terrain. It is the practice of holding and releasing that keeps the real you moving along generously.

Skillfully Generous – Desire & Intent (True Self, True Generosity)

In a world that desperately needs us to be generous one-to-another, true self is the pure path to true generosity.

Day-by-day, month-into-month, I am ever more aware of just how rapidly life can flow by us. Increasingly important then is the time and opportunities when I can be in the presence of another illuminating as best I’m able the True Self.

Launching early into my Season of Contemplation, I reached out to my coach and asked her to be with me in the process. In the subsequent conversation Judy reminded me of my answer to a question eighteen months prior. Her question to me: “What makes you happy at work?” My answer: When I am in the presence of another; listening and moving him/her to a conscious embrace of who they are and the power found at the core of that authenticity.

Generosity in its purest pattern forms where your desire meets your intent. Driven by desire and drawn by intent you find yourself learning how to consciously and synchronously hold what is most important while releasing what is impossible to control.

In the contradiction of hold and release the suddenness of experience is simply the true self breaking into the present.

The skill you need to lead generously is summed up and delivered through your unique Desire & Intent. From a selfless versus selfish place, generosity is trued against a substantial self; a stone grinding out each distraction to core authenticity.