Life is a stage and we dance on it. The question is how do we do our dance.
Leadership is a dance. It comes with many styles.
Dancing is a passion of mine and I integrate it into what I do professionally in leadership coaching.
A week ago, I facilitated an experiential group coaching session integrating dancing - as part of the International Coach Federation Cleveland Chapter monthly program, sharing my passion and a unique coaching venue with 10 peer coaches.
The setting of the Cleveland Metroparks in this early summer was fabulous. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. An orchestra of spring birds enveloped our intentional morning presence.
Each participant shared their expectations for the session. I invited each person to write down his/her coaching agenda - is a leadership or relational challenge they face and would like to get a different perspective on.
We formed a line of leaders and a line of followers, facing each other. We learned a little bit of dancing with a partner, then we debriefed. Then the leaders rotated to dance with a different partner. Then we added some variation to the dance, and we debriefed and rotated again.
At some point, I asked the leaders and followers to switch roles and experience being the other party. We experimented with how to make the partner’s job easier.
Initial frustrations turned into questions, comments, feedback, “aha” moments, laughter, excitement, a sense of accomplishments, and ending with very loud “hi-fives”. We could feel it - the energy of the group escalated as the fun elevated!
So many leadership lessons were learned from the dancing experience and each participant took away refreshing inspirations.
As we were wrapping up our group debrief, one participant - who happened to have professional dance instructing background - offered a perspective that wowed many of the participants.
She said, “In dancing, you can think of the leader as the frame and the follower as the art.”
We all heard the various contemplative “Hmmms” and “Ahhhs” from the group.
The frame’s intention is to show the art.
From that perspective, a leader’s intention can be to create a frame for the followers to BE at their best and to SHOW their best.
As we lead our teams, organizations, and communities, how we intentionally lead affects the energy around us and the impact we make.
It shapes our DANCE.
So how do you lead your dance?
How often are you the frame or the art?