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SOARing with CEEK: Perspectives


CEEK completed the latest SOAR program with our cohort. Based on the book, Language and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence: How Extraordinary Leaders Build Relationships, Shape Culture and Drive Breakthrough Results by Chalmers Brothers and Vinay Kumar, Jennifer Hughes led 12 industry leaders on a journey of self-discovery.

CEEKer Whitley Carson supported the program and couldn’t help but pick up new insights along the way. She shared her insights with us below.

What was your impression of the program?

I was there to support Jennifer, but the program was so engaging I found myself pulled in. The material is so applicable to relationships at work, home, across the board—it was transformational. I could see a shift in the participants over the course of the program. They began using different language to describe interactions with subordinates and coworkers. It was amazing to see that take root, like watching something blooming.

How has the program changed how you work/work with others?

It’s changed my approach to working with our team. I didn’t realize I was letting assessments drive my behaviors. I’d make and observation and assume what I was seeing must be the truth, but it wasn’t always the full story. I’m engaging more with the people around me to understand and ground my assessments and assertions.

I also realized I wasn’t fulling engaging with people. I was hearing them, but not always listening. My mind would go into overdrive, thinking about the next thing I wanted to say in response without listening to all of what was being said. It’s eye opening to realize this aspect of human nature, that we tend to lock into what someone is saying, hearing them without listening to their intent.

The session on declarations/requests/offers/promises also made me feel really guilty! I’d say “yes” to requests without having the wherewithal to say, “You know, I really shouldn’t” or “I can’t”. When you hear the options available to you broken down the way they are in the SOAR program, you realize that you have to find a better way. I’m not doing anyone a service by saying “yes” to everything.

What do you hope attendees take with them?

I hope everyone takes away that there is a fine art supporting personal and professional growth . It’s not enough to continue relationships as “business as usual”, hoping things work out. It’s worth it to invest time to know yourself, empathize with other people, build trust, listen whole-heartedly, and ground assessments and assertions.

What is the one thing you will always take with you?

Short answer: assertions and assessments.

Also, it was amazing to see the level of authenticity Jennifer brought to the course itself. It takes one manager to take this information, spread the message, share what they know, and help people better their lives. It’s awesome.

Interested in CEEKing a Better way with SOAR? The full list of sessions is available on our website and Jennifer will be sharing more about each session here on the blog. Follow this space to learn more and watch out for availability of our next cohort!


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