The greatest gift that a person can have is the ability to influence without positional power. I work in an office with at least 500 other people. In course of my work I interact with at least 5-6 people a day, if not more. How many of them can I really influence? How often have I engaged in the kind of conversation that stimulates changes in performance?

I thought about this and that made me reflect on the following: How many conversations do I have during an average day? How many of these simply function as social lubricants helping me slide through the day without having to address the real and important issues that I face? How many of them really matter? I also thought about the few significant conversations I had over the last week. At the end of the conversation did I feel complete – did I say everything I needed to say to that person at that time? Did I feel good about the interaction? If so, I tried to understand why and if not, then why not.

A senior executive, who I reported to in one of my assignments, had told me that leaders at all organizational levels are being asked to be more coach-like with their team members, colleagues, and even their customers. Unfortunately, many of us find ourselves ill-equipped all too often. Maybe we haven’t been coached or worse still, we haven’t realized the importance of such coaching.

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