A window of opportunity has opened. You can see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it! The possibilities for your team, your organization, your world are startling. Startlingly obvious to you, anyway.
You are ready to go through this window of opportunity. Now. Before it closes.
You look around. Wait a minute. Are your people ready to go through to the other side? Where are they? Right behind you? Beside you? Already gone through? Or are they tripping over each other, frantically trying to get their things together?
Perhaps they are smiling back at you, bemused, as they continue business as usual. The look says it all—no need to go out there. Take a seat. Relax. Chill for a while.
As a certified Organizational and Relationship Systems Coach, I am trained to read the emotional field and sense the energy of a room. In a similar way, I facilitate leaders to sense the collective energy of a team and notice what’s needed.
The system is always signalling. By paying attention to the signals – the clearing of a throat, a downcast look or nodding head, a knot in the stomach, vibrant conversations in the corridor— leaders get a sense of where the system is now in relation to the big opportunity.
Clues come in noticing what people say and do, and sensing their thoughts and feelings. Do you notice complacency or urgency? Is that urgency false or true? Use the clues to get a clearer understanding of what is wanting to happen.
What do those around you need to hear, see, think and feel to go through that window of opportunity? Only by reading the signals is there potential to raise the sense of urgency for a big opportunity.
Yet it’s all just potential if you as a change leader only look outside of yourself. Looking within is just as important.
What is your sense of urgency? What signals are you sending out to the larger system?
Do you react to complacency and a false sense of urgency with anger and frustration?
Are your actions congruent? Maybe you send out double signals—one saying, ‘Let’s go through that window!’ and another that says, “Hang on a minute. Have we thought this through?’
Change leaders are mindful of emotions and the impact on others, for moods are contagious. Within two hours of working together, a team will catch the moods of the titled leader and most expressive—whether verbal or non-verbal—member of the team. What is the mood you intend those around you to catch?
Sense the urgency, and like a tuning fork, respond with what is required to nudge your team over the brink to join you in the land of opportunity and possibility.
Kerry Woodcock, Ph.D., works with pioneers, leapers, influencers, and bridge builders in her change leadership work as principal of Novalda Coaching & Consulting Inc.