Which Conversations have you Planned?

"I wish you would just shut up!"

If this statement is in a thought bubble or a speech bubble it's too late. Our mind will think it's said and our body language will give our game away.

No matter which situation you're in, if you're a leader you need to plan the necessary conversations rather than allowing the unsaid to stymie the power of the dialogue.

In this particular situation, you need to give the person direct feedback. If the impact on others is negative then raise the conversation. Plan it. Write it. Practise it. Whatever it takes to make your conversation have the desired outcome ...maybe it's to 'shut up' or behave differently.

It should be a quick 3 minute conversation. It should be private. It doesn't require a meeting room. We waste enough time in meetings, postponing important conversations or procrastinating in our role as a leader. This is not a 'coaching' conversation - far from it - I call it a 'Yell' conversation and sits at the other end of the conversation continuum where coaching sits.

If you're unsure how to plan, practise and play out this conversation, I recommend you use the SBI technique. Google it or check out my example below.

If you lack confidence in having direct conversations, connect with me and we can arrange a session to enable you to Lead Confidently in your Conversations.



Situation: John, yesterday at the morning's project X meeting, during the update agenda item.

Behaviour: Your verbal report was repetitive, you actually spoke for 7 minutes and didn't ask anyone for their input - especially when we had all read your report.

Impact: I'm not sure if you noticed, almost everyone switch off, started fidgeting and checking their devices, there was zero engagement from our key folk. 

And what's even more effective is an additional piece of the conversation ....

Behaviour: John, we're reporting into the senior stakeholder's meeting tomorrow, what could you do differently? (Pause, leave void for John to report in with a change to his behaviour. Have your thoughts ready to roll if John has no idea.)

Behaviour: Louise, I know, I get nervous and I don't want to forget to share any information. Tomorrow I'll highlight the top five points and then ask specific questions to Mary and Tom.

Impact: John, that's a good start. If you do that, what impact will you have within the group?

Impact: Louise, I'll be able to check if my messages are clear and if there is an understanding and any concerns with our progress.