If I were to create a Leadership Development Hall of Fame, Bill Torbert would be in it. It was therefore an honor to interview him about ideas that have influenced how I live, learn, and coach.
In Episode 4 of The Amiel Show, I speak with Bill Torbert, who for decades has been a pioneer in helping managers improve their results by practicing a powerful approach that he calls “action inquiry.” We discuss:
- How to make the next meeting better than the previous one by paying attention to four “territories of experience”
- What it’s important to start staff meetings by developing a shared frame of what’s at stake
- How conversations can go astray because of “dueling advocacy” or “naked inquiry”
- An unsuccessful attempt to trim my son’s fingernails
- The different forms of power we gain access to as we develop as adults—and how each can be valuable yet limits us when used in every situation
- Why some managers get threatened by their direct reports
- What we can learn about “transforming power” from former Czech President, Vaclav Havel
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Instead of assuming that we share a frame, we actually try to generate a frame.
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Explore Additional Resources
- Four territories of experience: outside events, own sensed performance, strategies, intention/attention
- Four parts of speech: framing, advocacy, illustration, inquiry
- Forms of power: opportunist, diplomat/charming, expert, achiever, collaborative, transforming
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