The conversations I genuinely worry about are the ones that aren’t taking place. As a leader, just thinking about what’s not getting talked about should scare the daylights out of you.
From feedback and coaching discussions to interchanges with coworkers who can say, “Yes” or “No” to your requests for resources, process changes, budgetary allocations or fresh ideas, there’s no end to the critical communication situations we encounter at work. I find that just a few common-sense, authentic communication tactics improve your success and strengthen your credibility as well.
The gravitational pull of the status quo is powerful in every organization. It takes rebels and rebellion to change. While breaking the rules always comes with risk, learning to guide others through constructive rule-breaking in pursuit of needed changes is a great way to grow your success.
I've long been convinced we work our way to professional success one challenging conversation and one challenging situation at a time. (Think about it.) Of course, learning to succeed in those moments is the critical part. That's why we put together our online/on-demand program, Crushing It with Challenging Conversations.
The absence of respect breeds toxicity among individuals and across the workplace. Instead of being blinded by your brilliance it pays to take the time to look, listen, learn, and value the person across the table from you. You’ll be pleased with results, including the respect you'll receive in return.
In my experience, most strategy discussions go sideways. After all, they are typically about change and we're wired to fear and resist change. There are however some practices you can adopt to help strengthen the quality of these essential and sometimes existential discussions. Here are 5:
Challenging conversations are inherent in a manager's job, yet this knowledge doesn't make it any easier when you have to sit down and let a good person know they're not cutting it and it's time for them to go. While you own doing everything in your power to coach, train, and support them, in some instances, the individual's abilities don't match up with your firm's and the job's needs. Here's guidance on handling this tough situation with clarity and empathy.
It's inevitable to find individuals standing in the way of your well-intended new programs or proposed changes. Instead of expecting logic to win the day or, resorting to aggressive tactics, it pays to use finesse. Here are some well-practiced approaches to navigating the workplace blockers in your life.
The heart of your professional and leadership development must be seeking out conversations for growth. It takes a bit of courage and deliberate effort, but the results are potentially life and career changing.
I recently had a chance to interview former executive and now author and coach, Jennifer K. Crittenden, about her latest book: What's a Guy to Do? Working With Women, as well as her other excellent books. In this engaging 40-minute interview, Jennifer shares a wealth of great guidance for all of us. Enjoy this latest episode for the Leadership Caffeine podcast.