Speaking Circles International (R)

The Pleasure Principle

of Public Speaking


Developing Leadership Choice Point Mastery

by Lee Glickstein

More and more leaders are looking for ways to change the world for the better. They come from the fields of business, coaching, therapy and other healing modalities, spirituality, education, community activism and advocacy, among other realms. Their passion to bring out the best in themselves and the people they serve motivates them to find ways to transmit their passion and purpose more effectively and with minimal self-consciousness.

Several months ago my colleague ReGina Concotelli used the term "choice points" to identify the focus of her work with entrepreneurs. Since then I've come to see the phrase as a useful tool for change agents and leaders in evoking the best in others.

A choice point is any pivotal moment of truth in interaction with another or others. In that moment we choose how to act or react or not act; what to say or not say, how to listen. In that moment we have the choice to attune to others in a way that honors them and evokes their best in that situation.

As a leader (and I include family leaders), how many choice points do you face in a typical day that impact others? Ten? A hundred? (Take a few breaths to consider your answer.)

What would be the ramifications of simply being conscious that a choice point is at hand, right this second, and then responding appropriately? The sad truth is that normally many of us only realize it after fact, if even at all.

Choice Point Consciousness is the Mindful Leader's Edge.

Think of the moment before you decide whether to initiate a response to a situation, or to simply stay present and hold your horses. It may seem counter-intuitive, but in these moments mindful leaders take a relaxing breath and go to a place of not knowing exactly what they will do, and not knowing how others will react. You cannot know, and at the highest level of leadership you know less and less. That is the nature of leadership.

Mindful leaders know that where they put their attention as they move into each daily choice point determines how great the day will go. 

As an example, imagine being in front of a room to address a group. Before saying a word the mindful leader will take a luxurious breath and detach from consideration of content while accessing the place within to speak from that will attune to the listeners. This is how we facilitate a field of belonging that inspires the best listening, and it is the hallmark of Relational Presence practice that makes every Speaking Circle a great adventure.

This "place within" we go to is one of deep stillness, and that holding stillness for others is how to evoke their very best--and ours.

Choice Point Mastery starts with Choice Point Consciousness.

Choice Point Consciousness asks you to simply become more and more aware of moments of truth as they arise so you can breathe into them and slow down time in consciousness before moving into action.

One full breath is all it takes and hardly anyone takes that breath. Make that breath a hallmark of your communication style and you will take your place among mindful leaders.

Are you concerned that in your busy day you cannot afford the extra seconds these breaths take? Ultimately, not taking these crucial conscious choice point breaths is what wastes massive amounts of time and resources, both human and financial.

Unconsciousness around choice points in leaders is what kills businesses. Semi-consciousness around choice points spells daily struggle.

Choice Point Consciousness as a key element in a business culture provides the opportunity for its people to see the best in each other. It's an orientation that serves to expand the possibilities, clarify decisions, access creativity and ingenuity, allow for teamwork to kick in and for co-creative synergy to arise. It takes the pressure off the leader having to do it all him or herself. It engages community and expands the field of belonging, of empathy, of trust, of loyalty. 

The pleasure you radiate when leading from full presence is magnetic. Don't underestimate the power of pleasure to attract better business. 

© Copyright 2014. Lee Glickstein. All rights reserved.



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