What you Said Is Important to Me Because…

The most important things to get connected

THE PAUSE: Shows you were listening, what was important in their response? What can you build on?

THE “YOU”: It’s all about them!!! Listen!

THE “TO ME” – The beginning of the connection, the tether that supports a shared experience to find the bridge to more

THE “BECAUSE” – The purpose and specific example that sets up for deeper connection and a peak at what we value

What are the Habits inside this Best Practice?
  1. What you said is important to me because = deep acknowledgement
  2. Pause. To illustrate you are listening
  3. Pause. Then think about how what they said is important to you. Connect to that
  4. Listen for the Gold or what’s intended or important
  5. Stop reacting to how someone says something
  6. Connecting your experience to their experience
  7. Relax arms, make eye contact, and truly listen
  8. Stop listening to the voice inside your head that is getting ready to speak
  9. Appreciate the common ground
  10. Respect + Trust is more important than Agreement

WXYZ Meeting Agenda

Useful when…

Participants get frustrated by meeting ineffectiveness. Meetings time exceeds the value produced.
Plagued by a lack of responsibility, accountability, and structure.

Meetings often lack 4 distinct elements:

W is Who – who must be present to allow the XYZ to be achieved
X is Time – sets time available by “timeboxing” value purposefully
Y is Purpose – clear statement of purpose
Z is Expected Result – participants accountable to produce specific results

The key is “Getting to Z”

Best Practices
  1. Break down Y into multiple Zs with specific Xs.
  2. Insert a number in your Z. Identify 30 potential solutions or identify 3 month implementation plan. Now you know when to end.
  3. XYZ Conversation Frame “Let’s have an X minute conversation about Y so we can achieve Z.”
  4. Stop conversations if the right Who’s are not present.

Yes, and…

A Yes And… Circle engages everyone on your team in an any-idea-goes conversation that avoids criticizing or critiquing ideas.  A Yes And Circle allows you to engage, align and action as a group quickly. A Yes And Circle helps everyone get heard you look at the big picture by analyzing all of the forces impacting the change and weighing the pros and cons.

Yes – Acknowledge other’s contributions with a fast yes. The yes gives acknowledgment, not agreement.

And – Contribute a layer. Show you were listening and add to what was contributed.

Add a new idea – Yes And… we could “new idea”. Choose wisely when to add new ideas so you allow others to layer on an existing idea

Layer on an idea – Yes And… we could ”layer”. Practice listening for how to make implementation easier, connect resources, reuse existing pieces, accelerate implementation, double impact, extend the impact, sustain the impact, amplify the impact, minimize the cost…

Add a question – “How” and “What” questions work best. Use questions to guide your group to the desired outcome, find my value, explore the next aspect…

5 questions and 10 thoughtful statement in yes and…

Bonus points for layering on top of someone else after they’ve spoken

Bonus points for hearing someone else’s idea that no one else has noticed

Bonus points for hearing possible actions to achieve to outcome

Benefits of a Yes And… Circle
  1. 40-70% reduction in meeting time
  2. 5-7X engagement and 3X ownership of ideas
  3. 20X ideas generated in less time
  4. Engages both Introverts and Extroverts
  5. Culture reinforced – listened to, all ideas heard, alignment

Questions are the Answer

A question engages and activates responsibility in others. Questions engage others and encourage ownership. The quality of your questions often determines the quality of the response.

In the Game of Questions, you become capable of asking questions and responding differently! By removing your ability to respond with statements and keeping score, you create a practice environment where you learn to lead differently.

Step 1 – Realize how automatically you answer questions

Step 2 – Stop automatically answering questions

Step 3 – Begin to choose your questions intentionally

Step 4 – Choose the right questions to direct the conversation toward your desired outcome

Step 5 – Sequence your questions to achieve results

What are the Habits inside this Best Practice and Mindset?
  1. Know the outcomes you want from the conversation
  2. Use the questions to steer the conversation
  3. Stop reacting to questions and start responding with questions
  4. Get comfortable not answering questions
Creating Quality Questions

The quality of your questions illustrates the quality of your thinking. The fastest and easiest way to become strategic is to ask better question


  • Open > Closed most of the time – unless asking for a choice
  • What/How > Can/Do/Will
  • What could/How could > What will/How will
  • What would have to be true to…?
  • Where else has this been solved? Apple’s question to innovate
  • How else could we solve this without having to? Adding boundaries
  • Who else could…?

Listening as a Noun

We have a listening for each person. Some listenings are large (we are “all ears” for them). Some listenings are small (we barely tolerate them). Our listening affects what and how much we hear from them

Identify your Big Listening

Identify 3 people who you have big listening for

Identify 3 people who have a big listening for you

Identify your Small Listening

Identify 3 people who you have small listening for

Identify 3 people who you believe have a small listening for you

Career Builders

Career Builder Elements

  1. Domain Knowledge
  2. Leadership Capabilities
  3. Critical Experience
  4. Sponsorship
Developing Domain Knowledge
  • Specialized
  • Often technical
  • Foundational
  • Requires study/experience
  • Depth vs. breadth
Leadership Capabilities

Distill Current Capabilities

  • Gives you energy?
  • Highly satisfying?
  • Produces success?


New Leadership Capabilities

  • Expand opportunities?
  • Want to develop?
  • Need to develop?
Critical Experiences
  • Developmental heat
  • Increases leadership capabilities & domain knowledge
  • Increase versatility
  • Greater exposure
  • Direct Control of Financial Results
  • Applied Risk & Control Acumen
  • Building and Leading Diverse Teams
  • Effecting Proper Decision-making (Governance + Accountability)
  • External Alliances including M&A
  • Variety of Contexts & Environments


Describe what it looks like specifically?
How does the experience shape a career?


It is… 

  • Senior & influential
  • Helps gain visibility
  • Purpose: Opportunity
  • Sponsor is inherently accountable
  • Authentic relationship
  • Capabilities & aspirations are clearly known

It is not… 

  • ‘A coffee’
  • Career guidance
  • Helping you navigate
  • Networking
  • Performance feedback


Deconstructing the POW

P = Problem – What is the problem your group want to address or solve? What are external impacts that your group experience? Then transition to the personal impact on the group and their results. (5 You Statements is Best Practice)

  • Use “You…” statements to focus on their world.
  • Be generous, use ripples from the external aspects of the problem to the internal concerns.
  • Get clear on their pain and show them you get the impact.

O = Opportunity – What are the benefits of solving the problem? What could be different? How would the group’s’ world be different? What impact and implications would a change have on the participants? (3 What if…? Chains is Best Practice)

  • Use “What if…?” questions to create possibility.
  • Connect to the performance improvements and benefits of solving the problem.
  • Expand the implications of solving this problem

W = Way Forward – A clear, direct statement or question to target the purpose (What/How Question or Statement is Best Practice)

  • Focus on the purpose and ask an open-ended What or How question or statement then a question.

Results Versus Reasons

Results-Based Language

  • Yes, and…
  • How can we…?
  • What if we…?
  • They could…
  • What/How?
  • We would need to…
  • Here’s what we still need to do…

Reasons-Based Language

  • But…
  • If only…
  • Why can’t we…
  • They should…
  • Can/Do?They won’t…
  • Let’s try…
  • It’s hard…

Delegate to Develop

Delegation Process

I = Introduce the task

D = Demonstrate clearly what needs to be done

E = Ensure understanding

A = Allocate authority, information and resources

L = Let go

S = Support and Monitor

How to Use the IDEALS Approach

Individually, brainstorm 2-3 tasks you are currently doing that could be delegated (what kind of work – lower value, time consuming, not your strength, repetitive…)

Review your team – what could you Delegate and who could you delegate to and develop 

With a learning partner, each of you practice delegating a task using the IDEALS approach

Leadership Development Cycle

  • Describe Your Commitment
  • Explore Expected + Unexpected Circumstances
  • How will You Show Courage + what support you want
  • What new Capabilities Could I Develop
  • How Could My Confidence Be Impacted

Choice will always be at the centre

Embrace Resistance

How Resistance Works

Human resistance is when a conversation or change is opposed, that resistance causes the energy between the people involved into heat.

Consider how you listen to others. You filter their words through your understanding and your experience. You evaluate their “correctness” through your experience. With years of education and experience, your mind is trained to identify fault. This reaction can become automatic. Where you listen for fault. From this perspective, regardless of the message, we automatically react to the message and resist the message.

How to Evaporate Resistance

Step 1: Acknowledge the resistance
Step 2: Ask a forwarding question

Remember to NEVER Attack, Sell, insist, convince, tell
Never attack the resistance, as your attack creates two positions – yours + theirs. People will invest a great deal of energy to maintain their position. You want to remain and keep them position-less. Find out about the resistance and keep talking until you determine a forwarding response where you can continue having the intended conversation.

Evaporate Resistance Tool Best Practice
  • Acknowledging Their Perspective – Acknowledging their world, clearly illustrating their view of the concern and it’s potential impact on them = Highest level of acknowledgement to evaporate the resistance and build your relationship
  • Acknowledging from Your Perspective – Acknowledging the concern and impact from your perspective = Good level of acknowledgement that shows your commitment to your world
  • Parroting / mirroring the resistance… Reflecting the listener’s words back to them = Some level of acknowledgement similar to most leaders’ approach which fails to eliminate resistance
  • I understand… Which is telling rather than illustrating = Low level of acknowledgement  that creates more resistance
Acknowledgement Best Practice Framework
  1. Illustrate you get their world
  2. Possible impact on them
  3. Acknowledge their internal concern
  4. Explain how the internal concern impacts their confidence
  5. Describe your commitment to them
  6. Ask a “what” or “how” forwarding question to reengage in solutions-focused conversation that targets the result