One of the best things about being a learning facilitator is when I see people get those "lightbulb moments!" What I mean by this is when you can see or hear someone become inspired, have an idea or come to a realization as a result of the learning experience.
Seeing and feeling those lightbulbs shine in a session is for me the ultimate reward!
So for the last episode of season 1 of The SIXCOMMS Podcast, I spoke to regular listeners and guest speakers as well as reflecting myself to come up with the 7 Lightbulb Moments. In this post I will share with you the first three. If you missed this episode, here's the link: https://www.sixcomms.org/podcast/episode/21efd12c/the-lightbulb-moments-of-season-1
Lightbulb #1: Connection and Care to create inclusive safe spaces
In the guest episodes, I always end with this question:
What C of the six Cs resonates with you most? The Six Cs of Effective Communication are:
Compassion, Connection, Curiosity, Clarity, Customization and Consistency.
3 out of the 5 guests chose connection as the C which resonated most with them.
This is not surprising given that more of our interactions happen online with minimized in-person contact. We are craving connection right now and staying connected or feeling connected when online seems to be very challenging. It is not something that can be left by chance. Well-crafted, intentional safe spaces need to be part of any online meeting and now with more hybrid models being used making everyone feel connected and included is becoming more of a priority. It seems that having compassion and showing care towards each other is something that will certainly help connection happen. And showing care to each other is not only the responsibility of the manager or leadership team towards the team but that every individual is responsible for encouraging and promoting it.
Encouraging this shared responsibility is what the two initiatives the Zoom labs and Action Learning Sets that I discussed with my guest Ambrin in episode 2 promoted. What these two initiatives had in common was the assigning of roles, empowering everyone to have a voice and rotating the roles. It occurred to me how those aspects of creating safe spaces will become more critical as we further experiment with more complex hybrid ways of working.
As one listener shared...
"We are living in a fast, data-driven world where leaders need to support their decisions with statistics and figures but tend to forget the emotional connection."
In Episode 9 on Emotional Intelligence with my guest Prakash the importance of all professionals connecting with their own emotions as well as others was highlighted. This episode was just a taster of how emotional intelligence can enhance our communication skills and we received several requests for more episodes on this area which I’m happy to say we will be doing in season 2, so keep an eye out for those!
Lightbulb #2: Curiosity and Connection are Companions
A fundamental question that seems to hold all the episodes together is: How can we communicate to connect in more meaningful ways?
One C that consistently came up as we explored answers to this question was Curiosity. So in episode 4 with my guest Yee Lin we discussed how Curiosity can be encouraged and thrive in professional spaces. One aspect of promoting curiosity in the workplace, for both of us, was the need for leaders to model what kind of atmosphere they would like to create. This was demonstrated very well by Yee Lin’s previous manager who would make time in every meeting for team members to share what was on their minds. By sharing, they learnt more about each other and connected more deeply and authentically. Every individual had a turn to share, so all voices were heard. Cultivating this culture of being curious, open and willing to share and learn from one another doesn’t only help connect the team but also drives innovation.
Curiosity was again the focus of episode 8 with Emma on how to have curious conversations. The phrase that really hit me in this episode was we need space to be human! Like Yee Lin and I had discussed in episode 4 there is an importance now in creating intentional spaces to just share and explore with each other before “getting down to the business end of things.”
Lightbulb #3: Curiosity is a muscle not to be neglected!
A revelation to both Emma and I in episode 8 was the idea of curiosity being a muscle and even if you might have developed strength in one area you may have blind spots in other areas. To be fully open, curious and able to learn from a wide-range of sources and disciplines you need to be aware of the areas that you tend not to venture into and be willing to go into those unchartered territories!
This reminds me of what I revealed with Yee Lin in episode 4 when I realized that my learning could only go so far within the confines of the team and organization I was working with and that with genuine curiosity I ventured outside my organization to see how other learning professionals were working in different organizations and industries.
This curiosity wasn’t just self-serving for my own professional development, but could be used and communicated back to my team. This, in turn, fueled the appetite to experiment and explore other ways of approaching our work. A WIN-WIN!
I would love to know which of these 3 Lightbulbs shines most brightly for you.
To let me know you can follow us @sixcomms on Instagram or LinkedIn or drop me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org