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Quiet Leadership

Key Idea

Quiet leadership does not focus on the volume of a leader’s voice, or persuading us that quiet, shy people are the most effective leaders. Quiet leadership is about thinking, about developing habits of a “quiet mind” that enable leaders to save time, create energy and transform performance. Its core premise is that leaders need to improve their own thinking – and the thinking of those on their teams.

Book to Read

Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performanceat Work
by David Rock (2006)

Quick Take from the Book

According to David Rock, there are six practices to quiet leadership:

  1. Thinking About Thinking (staying solutions-focused, offering positive feedback).
  2. Listening for Potential (seeing people for their potential).
  3. Speaking with Intent (improving the quality of every word you use).
  4. Dancing Toward Insight (a model of conversation that includes questioning and clarifying).
  5. Creating New Thinking (tapping into the energy of those engaged in the conversation).
  6. Following-up (ways to close the gap between the ideas and habits of the Quiet Leader).

Quote of Note

"There is a new world to explore. If we are trying to help other people think, we might develop a whole new set of skills – such as the ability to create the physical and mental space for people to want to think, the ability to help others simplify their thinking, the ability to notice certain qualities in people’s thinking, and the ability to help others make their own connections. These are some of the most important skills that leaders must master today, and central to being a Quiet Leader."  — Quiet Leadership.

Related Styles: Theory U Leadership, Primal Leadership, Resonant Leadership

Return to List of Leadership Styles