…a time and place for us… peace and quiet and open air… while the West Side story earworm is percolating in my head, I am thinking about how values come into play for that. If values are what makes you YOU, how does this play out with other people (whose values make them them). When you spend some time around a person and experience them in different situations, it becomes a lot clearer what is important for them, what they base their decisions and trade-offs on, what they encourage and what they defend.
Sometimes people talk about this. And sometimes you can just ask. Not everybody is conscious about this though, and that doesn’t mean they won’t have strong values or guiding principles that you can resonate with. Sometimes leadership programs touch upon this, faith communities sometimes do, and you have to be open to explore your inner life and then get increasingly comfortable talking about this to others. Like all emergent habits, this might feel a bit strange at first.
When things go reasonably well, these conversations flow fairly naturally. These first steps are rewarded and you can start building something. If you start that topic (especially if you are the more junior person), expect people to be a bit flustered at first. They might want to have a think first (and that is a very good idea, that hopefully also gives the time to tap into their emotions too). You can just float the idea and see how the other person reacts, which allows you to calibrate what sorts of conversation you are likely to get subsequently.
If you value a connection that fosters true apprenticeship, you want to be able to have these conversations. This is one of the best way to supercharge your growth as a leader. So the ability to have these conversations is a key one to look out for.
What experiences did you have starting these conversations? Did you have a conversation like that sprung upon you? Please share!

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