A shift from what to who

Organisations want results. That’s often the bottom line.

Any investment that is made in people is most often with a view to driving specific results. Focus is placed on key performance indicators and other external, sometimes arbitrary metrics. Consideration is given to what gets done, what works and what doesn’t, and what is possible so that more can be achieved with less. What’s often missing is true understanding of the human element that’s at the heart of everything we do. This subtle shift from what to who and how can have an enormous impact on results because it focusses on diagnosing and treating root cause rather than getting caught up managing an endless cycle of symptoms.

Impactful results start with a human and heart focus

Before the covid-19 pandemic, many organisations focussed on delivering results at any cost, and the impact of what are traditionally thought of as soft skills was not recognised nearly as widely as it is now. Post-pandemic, many have come to recognise that soft skills help us to have better conversations and better relationships, all of which play a key role in driving hard results. Less tangible as they are than traditional performance metrics, these skills can be difficult to measure and therefore easy to ignore but investing in their development can be a game changer.

Awareness is the crucial first step

At UQ Coaching, conversation sits at the heart of our work because we know that the ability to have good conversations is central to success as a leader. We recognise and celebrate the enormous impact of having good conversations because we know from the research and have seen first hand in our decades of delivering learning and development experiences that it is an often overlooked but crucial part of individual and organisational success. The ability to have improved conversations and relationships is not just skill based, it begins with leaders having increased awareness of self, others and the world in which they lead.

Better results for all

Greater awareness of self and others leads to deeper understanding of people and situation, which leads to better relationships. Once we have achieved this, we are much better equipped to have open and honest dialogue in all areas of our work and lives. Awareness is the crucial first step to leadership success, and the cumulative impact of this virtuous cycle is better tangible and intangible results for all.

The Leadership S.T.O.R.Y

Using this insight and understanding we have developed the Leadership S.T.O.R.Y. model to develop the awareness and understanding required to engage in effective conversations and build meaningful relationships that deliver results. There are five parts to the framework:

  • Situations
  • The world in which you lead
  • Others
  • Relationships
  • You

It begins with you

It begins with you

When using the model, our exploration always begins with you, but it doesn’t end there, because knowing yourself more deeply is the first step in engaging in the conversations that will drive your impact externally. Our seven step UQ model is the framework we use to explore your fears, preferences, beliefs and behaviours to give you the self knowledge required to lead from a place of core confidence.

We start with you and then help you understand others and the relationship between you, as well as the world in which you lead, to support you in developing a level of core confidence, astute awareness and understanding to enable you to handle whatever situations lie ahead.

The world in which you lead

The next step is all about understanding the world in which you lead. We help you explore your organisation’s DNA so that you can implement sustainable, meaningful change. We consider intrinsic patterns in nature, applying them within organisational settings to show you how to have more lasting impact than the traditional mechanistic approaches favoured by organisations now. The world is becoming increasingly complex, and change is happening at lightning speed; understanding some of the fundamental principles that encapsulate our world and how you can apply those in your specific context will give you a steady grounding as a leader.

Connecting with others

Just as important as understanding yourself and the world in which you live and lead is your ability to understand other people. You want to consistently get the best from others as a leader and that starts with knowing yourself and being genuinely interested in them as people. Conversations are a vital part of the energy that connects you with the people around you, allowing you to move towards others and foster sustainable and strong relationships to help you achieve more together.

The importance of relationships

The final part of the Leadership S.T.O.R.Y. model builds on your new understanding of others, focussing on the relationships that exist between you and other people and how you can be more intentional in the building of them. The flow of thoughts, feelings and experiences that are co-created between one or more people – these are your relationships.

These relationships sit at the heart of life and leadership which means the quality of our relationships has an enormous impact on our ability to lead well and deliver results in all areas of our lives as a professional, parent, or partner. The most important thing you can do as a leader, second to knowing who you are and having core confidence, is build strong human relationships with the right people.

We know that leadership is a quality anyone can harness to improve their lives and have more impact, not simply the products of a job role or title. All five elements of the Leadership S.T.O.R.Y. model have been designed to bring increased awareness so that you can take the actions required to have the conversations and cultivate the relationships that will drive better results. Starting with awareness and understanding of self, others and environment leads to much healthier and effective conversations and relationships. In doing this work, you’ll see improvements to the bottom line as well as leadership results as you become someone others want to follow.

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