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#26: Where are you? Above or below the line with Dr. Eric Bean

January 19, 2022 in

Where are you? Above or below the line with Dr. Eric Bean



 

One question that leaders ask themselves over and over again is, “Where am I?” Imagine that a black line could serve as your guide to answering this question? There are times in leadership where we live above or below this line.

In today’s Coaching Through Stories episode with your host, Dr. Eric Bean, you’ll learn the difference between leading above or below the line. Above the line leaders are: Open, Curious, and Committed to learning. Below the line leaders are: Closed, Defensive and Committed to being right.  Additionally, the way that you listen can impact where you are as a leader. Leaders who are above the line understand the difference between self-focused listening, content-focused listening, and whole-person listening.  

Leaders who interact with self-focused listening are listening for their own agenda; they are listening for what’s important to them and not what’s important to you. Leaders who interact with content focused listening have suspended their own agenda and are listening for what is being said but missing critical elements. Leaders who are practicing whole person listening are giving their full consciousness to the other person; they have suspended their own agenda and are listening to what is unsaid. We have all experienced times where we know when someone is listening to us with their whole self; when we feel like the most important person in the world to that listener, because for the moment you are. We all also know what it feels like when another person is only partially listening and when they’re listening to you for their agenda

The key to this topic is not that leaders won’t go below the line, but instead knowing when we drift below the line and take action to come back above the line. Once leaders find themselves below the line, they must ask themselves: Am I willing to shift? This is a powerful question because sometimes leaders are not ready to shift above the line. Dr. Eric Bean discusses some approaches that leaders can take to get back above the line even when they’re not quite ready.

Key Points:

  1. Above the line leaders are: Open, Curious, and Committed to learning.
  2. Below the line leaders are: Closed, Defensive and Committed to being right.
  3. Leaders who practice whole person listening, give their full consciousness to the other person.

Episode Highlights

  • [01:39] “The sound of the forest”: how is it related to coaching and leadership
  • [05:00] The three types of listening people engage in
  • [07:24] How do we engage in whole-person listening?
  • [09:37] Why do we drift below the line?
  • [12:39] How do we stay above the line?
  • [13:37] The shift and drift model: how do we shift when we go below the line?
  • [14:23]  Generating a sense of wonder

Resources Mentioned:

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