Which Conversation Is Necessary?

Last week, I was work-shopping 'Coaching' with a small group of leaders and a 'problem' case study was presented by a member of the group to use as an opportunity to practise their understanding of coaching and new found knowledge. We were briefed by the leader and the group/team of coaches commenced using the GROW model to uncover the purpose of the conversation goal.

After five minutes of questioning, the group realised that they were all feeling the same, challenged by the behaviour of the 'coachee' (which was being well acted); they were unable to create a space which created a dialogue . The coachee was a 'closed shop' and their behaviour was appalling and unhelpful. 

The group was stumped.

I then posed this question to the group, "Which type of conversation is necessary in this situation?"  And, is Coaching appropriate?

It was concluded that the conversation required an approach which dictated the expectations of the workplace, one which acknowledged the condoned behaviours and an agreement of the facts and the course of action required. This conversation was at the opposite end of the spectrum where coaching starts. 

We can be ineffective as leaders if we don't use our time wisely, determining the necessary conversation and the appropriate timing - rather than wasting time and that of others. The spectrum of leadership conversations is vast and ranges from:

Dialogue - to understand

Discussion - to agree or disagree based on the understanding

Decision - to chose a course of action from the agreement/disagreement

Direction - to guide movement towards achieving an action

Dictate - to confront with facts and advise the course of action

Once you've decided on the purpose of the conversation, then it's time to consider the questions and commentary to drive it. Practise makes an effective leader!


A day never passes without realising how amazing life is or can be!

Today I ventured off early to meet my running partner with a goal to run for 70 minutes.  We’re training for the City2Surf 14km run which is on in 9 weeks. We can run 10km but today we did our PB – 13.4km in 70 minutes. There were lots of slippery High Fives!

The question is: Why is it that some days we can do it whilst on other days we pull up sore? (There are many excuses!) The Power Of One is about being in control of yourself – today my mind was in the zone and it controlled the body.

In other life compartments, The Power Of One operates in:

My Space – What does your workspace look like? We need space to work, space for our self to think where there are limited interruptions. Take a photo and consider the effectiveness of your personal operations in your space.

My Time – When is your best time? Where are your peaks? Do you chunk these times into your diary? When I run – I script, design, review conversations and plan. I prefer meetings between 10:30am and 2:30pm as I like my time to do the work from these meetings when I’m more productive.

My Focus – How well do you focus?  How many things are you working on right now? Focus on one thing at a time is the most productive and innovative. Whilst we women boast that we can multi-task, it’s crap. The brain is smart but it is super smart when all systems are channelled into one meeting or one project or one conversation.

My Lead – in leadership, it can be rather lonely: folks are following you, they don’t join you they look to you for direction and decision authority. Stand back on your own and let others perform – don’t interrupt them – trust them!

The Power Of One is an approach to be in control of what you do, when you do it to achieve the why you do it.