Leadership Between the Lines

Cultivating truth, creativity & impact: It's all about the conversation

I get to have juicy conversations just about every day of my life. My work depends on it. My inner impact goddess thrives on it. My clients create change by it. In fact, I'm finding that one of my metrics for meaning, joy, and how much impact I create, is in the amount of conversations I have that 1) feed my soul, 2) make me think, 3) contribute to another human being, 4) help move something forward, and 5) create a bigger conversation that ripples positively.

One of my favorite quotes from Rumi is "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep." I woke up early this morning in San Francisco with the "secrets" of "collaborative creative conversations" dancing in my head. Moved to create a conversation around them, and to contribute to your own conversations today as well, I offer some of them to you here.

This list falls in the "being" side of a conversation; many of these things you can't see or touch, but you can feel them- and they're potent. The energy and intention of these 5, underneath the "doing" of a quality conversation, creates magical space.

  • Authenticity: Bringing one's full self to the conversation and standing in one's truth.
  • Vulnerability: A willingness to be seen; and to be wildly brilliant or wildly off, wildly grounded or wildly lost. A willingness to have one's mind changed; a perspective even shattered.
  • Presence: Full attention, honor, and presence in the conversation; emotionally, mentally, physically.
  • Witnessing: Seeing, truly seeing, the other person in the conversation. Watching them shine, sourcing for greatness, holding space for them as they work through their thoughts.
  • Creative Listening: Listening below the surface for what's not being said. And listening above the surface for how to contribute to and expand upon the topic.

This is just an early morning taster...not an exhaustive list by any means...and, these 5 things, brought to the table even energetically, create connection and intimacy. When connection, intimacy and space for authenticity is present, big things happen: truth occurs, creativity flows, cool things get manifested, big problems are solved, souls are fed.

What would you add to this list? What has to be present for you to create a meaningful and collaborative conversation? Where do you hold back when these things aren't present? What gets lost? And finally, what's possible for you and your team (or partner, spouse, kids) when they are?

To listening, contributing, and being in the conversation. // axc