3D Juggling 662: Say what you see

What a privilege to have sponsored the Emerging Leader awards for the NHS London Leadership Academy last week. Congratulations to Durka Dougall and Charlotte Hazelton who were joint winners.

Claire writes: ‘There’s a lot happening in a conversation – the words, the tone, the pace, the silence. One of the coaching tools that can be used in any dialogue is to say what we see or hear. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Chris Argyris’ Ladder of Inference reminds us how easy it is to add interpretation and assumptions to what we see so that imagination spirals out of control and we start changing our behaviour based on what we assume and not what actually happened.

What we can learn from coaching is to work on what is seen – the video – rather than the commentary. This can be helpful when the person we are talking to is talking about a third party. When they diagnose ‘They were angry’ we can ask ‘What did you see?’

This takes practice because when a conversation is transformed we will be saying what we see without judgement, interpretation or performance anxiety. Try it!

Principle 6: Say what you see without judgement’

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