Practice Makes Perfect: The Art of Envisioning Outcomes as a Leader

Susan S Freeman Blog

PracticeThis week’s Step Up Leader Tips offers my observations on an important leadership tool; practice. This week there were three client examples reminding me to share!

You may be wondering “when on earth am I supposed to practice anything?

—and that is exactly the thinking that I want to challenge.

What I’ve observed in coaching leaders on a wide variety of challenges is that when we can practice what it is that they desire, they are far more likely to achieve it when the stakes are high.

Consider my client Kate. She runs a virtual team and has colleagues spread throughout the country. She noticed that there was little innovation or creativity in solving the current business challenge the team was facing. By envisioning what she wanted to accomplish, we walked through the potential outcomes, an agenda, how to facilitate a robust conversation, and gain commitment from participants on action steps.

The results were significant. The team engaged, coming up with new ideas. Collaboration began taking shape. Energy was palpable. The company President received feedback that this way of working was taking root.

Then there was Carol. She was responsible for leading a high-level meeting with senior executives. Her approach was different than the person who called the meeting and she was concerned about this potential difference and how it might play out.   Right beforehand, we spoke in detail about envisioning the outcome, the meeting flow, and getting her “set up” to lead the meeting successfully. This is about way more than the “agenda.”   It involves getting the mind, body, and emotional state prepared.

Here is what she wrote to me as follow-up:

“The presentation went very well today! My colleague said that” I hit it out of the ballpark”. So, that’s one for the win column!

Thanks for your help yesterday before my planning meeting and getting my head aligned with my spirit for the meeting today. I asked for their input on goals for the meeting, delivered what they asked for, and then confirmed they got what they wanted. And it was a really fun meeting to boot!”

These are only two of the recent examples I have witnessed when clients practice in coaching that which they want to accomplish “in the game.”

What about you? Are you practicing?

If so, post your comments on what works here. If not, I invite you to download my complimentary Leadership Effectiveness Quotient here.

Remember, we are always practicing something. Make your practice count.

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