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Criss styris

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Conflict management: A leadership imperative


’Conversation’ is imperative to leadership and without effective conversation, leaders can’t communicate their position to the organization:

  • A leader must share his ‘Vision’ before it can be lived, which requires conversation.
  • Conversation underpins ‘Change’. While organizations remain firm to their value, people change, new people arrive and conversation becomes even more important.
  • Meaning and purpose determine Employee engagement, this involves conversation.
  • Execution involves placement of action. This again not possible without conversation.

Given the position of conversations in leadership, the following principles form a valuable guide for leaders looking to outline conversation:

  • Leaders are the guardians of conversations inside organizations. Conversations occur daily within teams and organizations and a great deal of this conversation occur naturally in the form of gossips mostly aimless and unfruitful. To make an organization’s conversation fruitful is the leadership’s responsibility. To efficiently steer change, leaders must be actively engaged in directing, and influencing an organization’s conversation. The quality of the conversation inside an organization and leadership are closely linked.

Using conversation consciously means that we must think sensibly how we frame sentences and how we can use them authoritatively. Quality conversation leads to effective management, engaged teams, a captivating vision and united execution.  This involves leaders who have a strong opinion about, what the organization wants to be talking about at this point in time.

  • Effective conversation is about open communication. An effective conversation is all about asking questions the right question at the right time. That is leaders have to be open to various views and lookouts. To discover all facades of a subject-matter includes enquiring your primary tool. Enquiring not telling, using flexible questions then listening to the answers. This is the vital skill of questioning.

Assignment: Find ‘asking’ to ‘telling’ ratio in your day-to-day conversation. Is it more than 0.5?

  • Conversations shape the background in which employees perform. Influential leaders use discussion calculatingly to direct an organization’s path. Nevertheless, short of a strong attitude and vision, leaders can’t shape an organization’s conversation.

They need to deliver a strong message that efficiently sets the vessel in which dialogs take place. A great vessel for conversation need leaders to be straight about the following issues:

  1. The organization’s goal – why it exists?
  2. The organization's main purposes – what must be accomplished?
  3. What is the revenue model?
  4. The leadership attitude – how people act?
  • Language and confrontations shape meaning. Real leaders understand the power of their words. What a leader says and does is often exaggerated by those under them. Given this, if leaders are inconsiderate of their words and recklessly phrase their sentences, someone else will too.
  • Build bonds and not barriers. Leaders are supposed to bring people together. The change will require bringing down the barrier, not to create. People have different assertions and in my experience, there is another way of approaching this state of affairs.
  • Leaders pick influential people to take part in meaningful conversations. To bring change, leaders must invite important people to effectively deliver the message and take necessary action to its enforcement. This includes a cognizant choice of people, and of the process that manages the organization’s conversation. Conversation rests in our head and hearts, it influences our concentration and feelings. Motivate influential people and they will pass your message to others, triggering a further conversation.
  • Keep the conversation fixated on a few main themes. Focus the organization's attention on a few main themes, the vital drivers of presentation and shapers of conduct. Concentrate on what really matters. These themes must communicate competently and be unstated. They should recur over and over, be achieved leisurely so that they lead to action. Key themes need to be framed so that they arrest the attention and stimulate more conversations.

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Criss styris

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