Now let's cover some key tools to maximize your ability to lead and influence others. When done collaboratively, we've already covered some powerful practices in the previous sections, truly co-creating purpose statements, vision, and mission values, norms that everyone can agree to provides an enormous boost to your capacity to lead. As does a clear direction, as maybe evidenced by completed an actively created strategy pyramid. When that group purpose is mindfully linked and mapped to your own individual purpose, you're in an authentic and strong position to lead. What follows is a non-exhaustive collection of favorite tools to learn and practice to make that connection. How best to lead and be led. As we chance says in her excellent book, Influence is your superpower. The result will not be the ability to manipulate or deceive, rather to lead with integrity and intent. Much like getting trained on negotiation skills. Once you're trained, you actually want the other side to be equivalently trained. It makes for a superior outcome for all. With the tools of follow, you end up wanting those around you to be versed in the same skills as you. A foundational skill to connect the layer of self and team is listening. Active listening. A colleague of mine at Yale, Stewart DQ, teaches a course called the Fundamentals of Working With People. In it, he introduces the concept of active listening by highlighting two numbers as a ratio, 400 to 125. Each of us can listen and process at about 400 words per minute, but we can only talk at about 125 words per minute. This may make intuitive sense to you if you're the sort of person who right now can listen to this course while driving a car, eating a sandwich, or even answering some e-mails or attending to some admin, and still not miss a word of what I'm saying. You are taking advantage of this spare processing capacity. In less optimal situations, you can be listening to a person talk who is in the room with you, but your mind is elsewhere, working out the drive time to the next meeting, wondering what it is for lunch, or even worse, flicking a glance at your technology even while the other person is trying to tell you something, so contrast the 400 with 125. As a speaker, I can only talk at 125 words per minute, although some people joke that I can't talk faster, especially when I'm excited about the people and the content. Between the 400 words per minute, you can process and 125 that can be spoken to you. It is your choice what you do with the difference. At the first level. Are you listening just to wait for a gap to see your piece? At the next level, you might be genuinely interested in what is being said, and you might be trying to understand. But at the fully active 360-degree listening level, you are fully present in the room trying to understand the full meaning of the verbal and the non-verbal communication, and able to take the conversation to a new level for both of you, so it's your choice. But the clear wish for me is to grasp the unique moment that is the conversation at hand or the course and make a real effort to truly listen and connect. Once we have practiced the ability to truly actively listen, we are ready for an essential tool to connect ourselves with our team, and those around us. The ability to give and receive good-quality feedback. We could, of course, devote an entire course or several to this topic alone, but for our purposes, are present one of my favorite and slightly tweaked models for giving and receiving feedback, which focuses on four steps. Situation, behavior, impact, forecast. This is based on the model, the SBI model, the first three by the Center for Creative Leadership in the UK. I also really want to recommend David Bradford and Carol Robin's book Connect. It is the book version of their popular interpersonal dynamics course for the Stanford MBA. They contend that done right, you can give just about any feedback to just about anyone at just about any time. It is also worth noting that the SBI plus F process works just as well for positive and negative or constructive feedback, and just as well for delivering feedback up, down across to someone you knew well or not so much. Here are the critical steps to follow. First stop S, situation. Being clear about the situation or the context, include any shared goals you might have and make them clear before giving or receiving feedback. If the performance in question happened last Tuesday, say so. If more than once mention the other times. But don't say in general, I've noticed that. Just like kids with parents and teachers, it really helps when there was proximity between the incident and the feedback. Next up, if you've clarified the situation and you're ready for b, behavior. Next, clarify the behavior involved. When giving feedback, can you describe the behavior in terms of what you heard and saw? Be careful with your language choice. I like to put it in terms of if a video recorder was playing, what would the video recorder have captured? In most cases, if a video camera would agree with you or an e-mail transcript or whatever the record would be in the case, chances are the recipient of the feedback will be agreeing with you right now as well. The key here is to refrain from opinion loaded commentary or judgment. Three phrases I'll return to, don't cross the net, carefully climb the ladder, and you control the temperature. Last letter of the three that came from the Center of Creative Leadership, I, impact. Once you've shared and agreed upon the situation and behavior and got agreement there, you can then move on to sharing the impact, the effect the behavior had on you, and on occasional circumstances and obvious and appropriate the effect that you observed on those around you, but you're safest on the effect it had on you. The important aspect of the impact is that you keep it one-sided, it's how you felt. Because your side is not up for debate, you can lean in at this point to the power of your feelings, both when they're positive and when they're negative. I felt so proud when you did those things or I felt disappointed when you did that, and so on. If you were receiving feedback, even if someone is not as elegant in their approach as using these three in turn, try to focus on these elements as a listener. On the situation, what are they thinking of? Their behavior, what did happen? And the impact on the person that's giving you feedback, and why is that impact valid? As this is where you're learning is going to come from. The last letter that I added to the model is f for forecast or feedforward. It's a bit of a shame we've got this word called feedback. Can we forecast what the SBI could look like in a future state. For instance, let's focus on next Tuesday's board meeting. Why don't we meet beforehand, run through the numbers, and any questions I might have, so I can be fully supportive of you in the meeting. Imagine how impressed the board will be and how proud I will be because the two of us are so tightly aligned on the plan and the numbers that will be achieved. SB and I and feed forward. Now let's take a moment for reflection and planning now with the SBI and F model in mind. Hopefully this has got you thinking. Please think about someone who you'd like to provide better feedback to. You could think of one instance for positive feedback, and one for constructive feedback. You could think of an upward example, a downward example, a diagonal example, an horizontal example, if you operate in a large team. I promised to revisit the three phrases within the behavior guide, don't cross the net. I mentioned the Connect book from Bradford and Robin. They have a helpful analogy to help guide our use of the feedback model, that of a tennis game. In feedback, you can describe the perspective from your side of the net, you might even venture to describe what you think the umpire sees. But you can't jump over the net in the middle of the point and play their point. You can't jump over and describe the other player's reality, perceptions, and motivations. As I said in the behavior stage, stay on your side of the net. Carefully climb the ladder. Another phrase you might have picked up is this, "Don't climb up the ladder." This refers to Argyris' work and others on the ladder of inference. At the ground level lies all the observable data and experiences. As humans, we couldn't possibly take it all in. We go up a run, and we select what data to see and observe. Next step up, we add meanings of our own to what we see, our personal and cultural lens on the world. Next up, we make assumptions based on this meaning infused data. We then draw our conclusions, adopt our beliefs, and then take action according to those beliefs. This claim is not in itself a bad thing, but there is risk for us and others when we do it too quickly, and subconsciously. The reflexive loop in this diagram is also important, with its own associated risk. We sometimes go back and don't restart at the bottom. We might pre-select the data to observe. For two practical examples, at the micro, macro level, consider the feelings, and assumptions, and actions when one person is late on more than one occasion, for an important meeting series convened by a colleague. What are the reasons behind the lateness, and are they related to each other? It may not matter to the offended colleague, and considerable damage ensues. At the macro, think also about the consumption of news where you live. Do we all seek out news from a wide spectrum of views, or do we risk moving into this reflexive loop, and staying in our own echo chambers? Last phrase I bookmarked, you control the temperature. Think about the difference between a thermometer, and a thermostat for timing and context of feedback. A thermometer is really good at telling you what the temperature is, and a thermostat can change it. Especially when there's a tough conversation to be had, a sense of the temperature or mood of the room, is appropriate for sharing feedback, and evaluate your internal environment. Are you in the right mood conducive to sharing and receiving feedback? If you need to turn up the temperature, you might put that meeting in the boardroom to convey a tone of high importance, authority or professionalism. Or you might do the opposite, and turn the emotional temperature down by offering a meeting over a coffee or taking a walk. Whatever you decide, you have a degree of control over the tone and context of your interaction. You can be the thermostat, not just a thermometer.