“It’s easy to look at feedback and say: ‘What was it that I wasn’t doing as a leader?’ And it’s that moment, right then and there, that’s the leadership opportunity.”
-Dr. Quintin Shepherd on practicing self-compassion
Reading thoughts is what makes an exchange feel alive for participants. For leaders, it can be a moment of vulnerability. Here are the stories of three leaders who use Thoughtexchange in their organizations. From them, you’ll learn what embracing vulnerability looks like in practice when undertaking:
Then, read on and discover concrete ways to support your team as they run a Thoughtexchange.
Kris Kotzer, Director of People Development at Allnorth on how letting go of control challenged the culture of his organization, and why they decided to move forward anyway (segment 10:25 - 12:25).
Chris Smeaton, Superintendent of Schools at Holy Spirit Catholic Division on why leaders need feedback that challenges the status quo (segment 35:02 - 37:25).
Dr. Quintin Shepherd, Superintendent of Victoria Independent School District on using feedback to create opportunities for leadership growth (segment 17:55 - 20:21).
Supporting Your Team
As these leaders share, vulnerability is a natural response to gathering open and honest feedback from people in an organization. If you are new to using Thoughtexchange, here are a few ways to support your team as they run an exchange:
- Before launching an exchange, discuss how you'll manage feedback as a team.
- During the exchange, check in with team members to understand how they’re experiencing the process.
- Before sharing out your post-exchange action plan, check in again to make sure they’re owning the plan and saw the value in gathering feedback.
- Model vulnerability throughout the process by sharing your own responses and how you were able to move forward.
- Then, follow up by launching a team learning exchange to get their thoughts and questions out into the open.
And remember, as Dr. Shepherd shared in his story, how we respond to feedback and vulnerability is a professional learning opportunity. Harness the process of running your exchange to continue developing the leadership potential of your team.
P.S. If you'd like to watch interviews with other amazing leaders, find them on our youtube channel along with our MasterClass series and our Exchange tutorials. Subscribe for updates!