Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Be a Leader - Have the Conversation Today

We all have conversations we are avoiding. Some are with our boss, some are with our staff, our spouse, our with our kids, our community, etc ... To be effective in these conversations, you will have to start a conversation with yourself.  Communication is an art and you are the artist.  Take a look at your work. How are you doing?  The hard conversations are usually associated with a desired behavior change, perceptions, misunderstandings, wounded feelings, or smoldering undelivered communication.  These conversations need to happen.  All of us could improve our communication in at least one area or one relationship, so here are some ideas to help you get started. 

Start with a questions for yourself to properly frame the conversation:

What do I want to cause with this conversation?

How do I want the other person or people to feel?

Who would I have to be to ensure my message is received?

What is the best place for the message?

How long should I allow for the conversation?

How should I prepare or rehearse the conversation to ensure success?

Easy stuff, right?  I suspect most of you have already heard these guidelines - I was just getting you warmed up.

The meaningful conversations are the ones you are avoiding.  The real question is why  are you avoiding critical conversations?  If you find the answer today, you could have a conversation that will improve the results for you and your team.  I know it's seems impossible to have some conversations - they feel like confrontations, or that the people won't care or listen or change.  These are all possibilities and also excuses which justify your avoidance and diminish your possibilities as a leader.  Take heart. Every leader in the world faces these challenges on a daily basis.  To accelerate results, you must accelerate your ability to have necessary and effective conversations.  Remember, a leader's job is to create direction, purpose, and inspiration.  A leader must clearly, constantly, and consistently communicate with his or her team.  

So plan your conversation today and make it happen.

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