Key to having difficult conversations is making sure that you:
- Specify that it’s an important conversation and clarify what the intent of the conversation is – it is to resolve an issue, flag an issue
- Make sure that the conversation is being had at the right time – is it free from distractions
- Identify what common ground you both have
- Discuss what’s important about the issue
- Understand what the other person values (is it having discussions be detailed or quick, pre-planned)
It's also important to take time to have the conversation. What's going to create a positive environment to have the conversation?
Here’s a short exercise to start working around difficult conversations:
Preparation needed: Create a slide with a range of photos or icons people can select from.
Time needed: 20 - 45 minutes (depending on team size)
Show the slide with icons/images people can select from (see example)
Round #1 - Ask people to share one at a time:
Which photo or icon did they select? What does that represent for them around difficult or courageous conversations?
After you have heard from everyone, ask “what have you learned about others in hearing about their selection. Note this down for yourself. Invite people to share if they would like.
Round #2 – Ask people to select another icon which represents the stance/approach they would like to take going forward. Again have them share, which icon they selected, and have them share one thing they will practically do/have conversation around.
This is a high trust exercise and takes time to have the conversation. Ensure that you build in enough time and invite people to share at the level they feel comfortable.
As you consider courageous conversations in your team – what are they? What does the team need to have these more regularly? What frameworks are you using as a team to create a common language and approach?
Have a great Wednesday,
Potentials Realized | Coaching Team Leaders
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Looking to enhance your virtual conversations - Conference calls? Webinars? Virtual coaching work? Pick up a copy of my new book, Effective Virtual Conversations, at Amazon. You can also purchase a copy direct from our site, signed by me! Chapter 7 goes into many more activities for you to undertake with virtual and remote teams.