Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #46
From the Greenbelt of Boise, Idaho, Summer rain
Tone: the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc.
Mood: inducing or suggestive of a particular feeling or state of mind.
I was in a meeting room with a group of people waiting for the leader to arrive. People were chatting quietly with their neighbors. The leader burst into the room and dropped their things on the table with a bang.
The tone was set before the leader had spoken a word, and the mood of everyone in the room shifted. The still quiet underlined the sudden shift from conversations where people had been sharing openly, to defenses quickly raised to protect from what might come next.
The tone we set at the onset of every conversation shapes what becomes possible. Without being aware of our underlying mood and consciously choosing how we want to enter each conversation as leaders, we cause unintended consequences with long lasting effects.
And as leaders observing the tone and mood of others, we’re in a better position to respond when we’re aware of our own mood and the tone we care to set. By being aware that I've suddenly become defensive I can consider other alternatives that may serve me better.
We’re living in a time of a great deal of change, uncertainty and complexity which can give rise to fear and anger. By taking charge of our own mood and the tone we set, we create better outcomes. I find it helpful to ask:
- What is my mood right now?
- What outcomes do I want to create?
- What tone do I want to set in my conversations?
I work with leaders and teams to have Generative Conversations.
Let’s create a better future today!