Team & Leadership development

Francis Becks Consulting

Francis Becks is a strategy and leadership development firm based in the Brantford and Greater Toronto Areas. We bring a strengths-focused approach to developing leaders, restructuring businesses and coaching teams to their full potential.

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What it Means to Be a Leader

To lead others, you first need to lead yourself.

We'll be breaking this conversation up into several blog posts, and let's commence the "What Does it Mean to Be a Leader" conversation with the idea of leading ourselves first.

1. Be proactive.

The conversation starts with looking at me.

Re-active people: respond to the circumstances.

Proactive people: choose their life/path/values and circumstances happen around them.

Our language will show if we are thinking pro-actively or reactively.

“He makes me mad.”

“There’s nothing I can do.”

“Let’s look at alternatives.”

These become self-fulfilling prophesies.

You choose your response. Your behaviour isn’t caused by circumstances.


Are you giving someone else power over your emotions?

Every time you think the problem is OUT THERE that thought is the problem.

if you are constantly critical of your relationships/teams/partners (instead of dealing with your own crap), then you 1. validate them in their response and box them into that negative behaviour. 2. are saying that you are a powerless victim in a negative situation.)

If, instead, you work on yourself, you’re giving the other person the space to grow in a safe place.

The Art of Listening

There are so many things we could say about the art of listening, so we will break it down into a few different posts.

Let's start with this.

Stop whatever you are doing, put down your phone and listen to what you can hear. From my desk I can hear the sound of a passing car, the dripping of a faucet.

But how often do we take the time to stop everything and fully engage with and listen to the person right in front of us?

I believe it's becoming a lost art.

Beyond that, we often listen with the intent to reply, or expecting a certain answer rather than to hear/understand.


We often listening autobiographically, through our own hearing lens. Take the time to step back over the next few days and as you are engaged in conversations with those around you, pay attention to them, and also how you want to respond.

As they are talking are you doing one of the following?

Evaluating: You judge and then either agree or disagree.

Probing: You ask questions from your own frame of reference.

Advising: You give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.

Interpreting: You analyze others' motives and behaviours based on your own experiences.

Listening builds trust.

Listening builds trust.


There is so much value in actually listening to those around us. Among other things, Listening builds trust and promotes a feeling of safety.