Let’s chat here a bit about why as a leader it’s important for you to deepen your conversation skills…
When you walk away, hang up the phone, close your email trail, or shut down the texting after a discussion with a colleague take a moment and think about what kind of conversation you just had.
Was it a difficult conversation or a learning conversation?
Here are 5 important ways to think about how you operate when you communicate:
Difficult Conversation…………………………Learning Conversation
Proving who is right or wrong Exploring how both sides make sense
Blaming other side to protect yourself Offering to hear each other’s contributions
Assuming you have the better answers Expect positive surprises as you engage other
Avoid anything that will escalate conflict Acknowledge that emotions need to be managed
Idealize your perspective as “the way” Be open to an outcome not attached to it
As I love to say, how you communicate, is really an x-ray of what is going on inside you.
Here’s a rule of thumb: Once you learn to manage what triggers you, the quality of your discussions will move to a higher plane.
In my upcoming webinar, I will be doing a deep dive into the three C’s of leadership: character, confidence, communication. You will be given tools for observing the key elements of your character (often areas we ignore because they are so habitual) and what you can change to give you more confidence.
Then you will get great suggestions for how to enhance your communication methods and become even more successful than you are now.
One more thought regarding communication…
The term ‘narrative’ is all over the media these days. It’s simply another word for ‘story.’ When you get stuck in explaining your story it’s so easy to forget to explore someone else’s story. Everyone comes to every meeting with their own version of what is going on.
Facts help yet, it’s the emotions that drive the conversation forward.
One of the most important leadership strategies is figuring out how to explain your story at the same time you explore your colleague’s stories.
- What is the core focus?
- How are situations being interpreted?
- What conclusions can be drawn from what is being said?
Then you can address what is missing, unclear, or flat out wrong.
Have you noticed that we have become a culture of short buzz word ways of talking with each other?
Take the time to deepen your conversation skills for effective leadership, professionally and personally.