When considering how we can improve the leadership within our teams, one of the under-appreciated skills is that of making good invitations.

An invitation means you’re asking somebody to take on a role, to do something, to grow into a new position. The skill of making good invitations is an important part of great leadership. 

“Being intentional inviters makes people feel cared for, seen, and included, and it fosters community.”

Samantha Salde ‘Going Horizontal’

In Samantha’s article she talks about how invitations should include four factors; choice, clarity, community and criteria. You can read the full article here.

I’d like to offer a fresh take on this; start by making your invitations open, caring and personal. 

Make the invitation open

 Be ready for the person to say ‘no’. That’s an important element to a genuine invitation and will no doubt open up a different kind of conversation, perhaps one that needed to happen anyway. As you make an invitation be open to what may emerge from that conversation and listen to their take on the situation.

Be caring in your invitation

By making an invitation you’re showing that you’ve thought of the person, thought the situation through, and see some potential for them. That’s caring in itself. You can take this further by being accommodating in your invitation and listening carefully to the perspective of the person you’re talking to.

Make it personal and genuine

Be clear on why you’re making this invitation to this individual. It’s empowering and supportive to hear that potential is being seen, and that you hold a vision for this person. Tell the person why you’re making this invitation and how it’s a particular opportunity for them to grow into.

Go for it. Become and good inviter, go forth and experiment.