WT 723 Hold the space

The past few months I have been retraining and refreshing with the Gordon Training International for Leader Effectiveness Training.

One of the trainers, Judith Richardson, from the Effectiveness Training Institute Australia (ETIA) made a point that I think is worth sharing.

We were discussing Values Collisions.

Judith said, “It is such a profound leadership skill to be able to hold the space for a team member or other person when you have a different set of values to that person”.

This resonated with me completely.

If you think back for a minute, when was the last time you had a different value or belief to someone and instead of arguing with that person to prove you’re right, you actually put your value aside for a moment and truly listened to them?

This is such a skill to master.

It takes patience and an open mindset as well as requires you to demonstrate your active listening skills.

Remember active listening means you demonstrate that you heard and understood the message, NOT that you necessarily agree with it.

Another point that was mentioned was that if you’re listening and you hear words such as “they should or they shouldn’t”, it’s a big clue that we’re talking about values.

When I think of the words “should” or “shouldn’t”, they are like commands and often it feels like they are coming from an external source.   It could be an authority figure such as a parent or teacher etc.

The words take away choice and often imply compliance, not necessarily that you want or choose to do something.

For this reason, it’s important to notice your own language and instead of saying “I should”, consider whether you are actually choosing to do the thing or not.  If not, think about whether you could assert yourself and say “No”.

If you do want to do the thing, then be aware that you are choosing to do it.  This is more empowering.

So back to holding the space for others. Why do it?

Because when you do, you’ll get to know others better. You’ll develop better relationships with people and you might find that you can actually see their point of view and may just change your own opinion.

This happened to me when we completed a role play around the topic, “Should people be made to attend in-service training if they don’t want to?”

My initial stance was “No” because I’ve experienced times when people have attended my training experiences and haven’t wanted to be there and ended up being quite disruptive to the other participants and myself.

As I held the space for my partner in the role play, she explained that sometimes the people who need it the most are the people who resist the most plus a good facilitator can often help them to see the benefit of learning and make a difference.

As I listened, I started to agree. I too have had this experience when people have been made to attend and at the end of the experience have commented how great it was and how it was the best thing they could have done.

So, your mission this week is to hold the space.

Practise your leadership skills.

Even if you initially disagree with the other’s point of view, use your skills, have an open mind and see what happens.

Let me know.

P. S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.