3 Ways to Lead Sustainable Change, Even When the Stakes are High
Leaders and High Stakes Conversations
“Lead Sustainable Change, Even When the Stakes are High”
What does it mean to be in ‘high stakes’? Being in high stakes means being at high risk.
As a leader being in any type of situation that has a lot of risk can be called ‘high stakes’.
A few examples of high stakes scenarios:
- You have been going through a difficult personal time and your boss has ordered you to take some time off against your will.
- When you gave your colleague a recent piece of bad news, he/she erupted, flew off the handle, and then later acted as if nothing had occurred.
- A peer consistently spots deficiencies in what you do making it hard for you to deliver and yet that person appears to get away with not delivering.
As leaders, a variety of things ride on how we manage any situation at hand. While we might know change is unavoidable and coming, we might not know how we can best navigate and lead sustainable change in our team.
3 Ways to Lead Sustainable Change
TeamCatapult coaches agile coaches, team leaders, facilitators and executives. We know that leaders get stuck, especially when the stakes are high.
Here are 3 ways to lead sustainable change, even when the stakes are high.
1 Read the room and a system behaviorally
To Read the Room (and the people in it, of course) is to know how to move forward. It is the first step to take when you find yourself in a high stakes situation.
There are four kinds of conversational action in all of our communication.
Every sentence or phrase we say can be coded into one of these four actions that David Kantor calls “speech acts”:
Did you know that the structure of our language informs our behavior and shapes our reality? So, by deconstructing these structures that sit behind our reactions, it becomes possible to understand and change the disruptive patterns of behavior that tend to erupt; sometimes without warning.Learn more about
2 Name the hidden dynamics
In our work at TeamCatult, we use Structural Dynamics to explore the range of powerful, but invisible forces that drive our face-to-face interactions when the stakes are high. This means learning to map patterns of behavior and understand how they show up at particular interfaces.
We prefer teaching how to map patterns of behavior in small groups and with an experienced team of coaches.
Learn more about
3 Work with human behavior in crisis
Last but not least, learning to work with human behavior in crisis is the last step to leading change. Naturally this means when the stakes are high.
What does it look like to read reactive behavior in self and in others, and to develop the ability to lower the stakes for self and others? This work takes both personal reflection time and practical steps that help to integrate the concept and to develop the competency through practice.
Learn more about
- How Daring to Dialogue Creates a Culture of Agility in Leadership
- The Most Effective Approach of Continued Dialogue: It’s Where Change Happens!
- How Do Conversations Work? The First Steps to Effective Dialogue
Lead Sustainable Change: Start your Journey to Leadership today!
Want to learn more? Want to put into practice to be ready next time you encounter a high stakes situation in your team?
Our Changing Behavior in High Stakes workshop is designed for this purpose!
This is what you can expect to learn in this workshop:
- Identify features of ‘contracting’ and preparing for high stakes interventions
- Know how to use Generative Dialogue to help a team and/or system reveal more about itself
- Be able to discern the various voices and perspectives whilst remaining neutral and bystanding the system
- Become skilled at observing, identifying and transforming high stakes behaviors that are contributing to reactivity
- Work proactively with perturbance particularly when the stakes need to be raised and deal with associated escalation
- Know how to lower the stakes for others using core principles for managing high stakes effectively
If you are ready to lead sustainable change in your team, you’ve come to the right team to support you on that journey!