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Difficult Conversations – Says who?


Leaders who inspire touch our hearts and minds – to feel this connection both hearts and minds therefore have to be open. Conversations may not always be comfortable – if you are opening yourself up as a leader, or as a team member, you will at times need to ‘take the plunge’ and address a subject that you could quite happily leave well alone. I still remember my most anxiety provoking ones, and the worry beforehand was always worse than the actual experience.

Has this happened to you? This situation sound familiar?

One of things we know great leaders bring to a difficult conversation is courage and a sense of purpose, this purpose makes the effort worthwhile. Reward yourself if you are one of the few who find the courage, many leaders and managers simply don’t and that breeds a culture where authenticity is lost in service of safety.

Even with courage these difficult conversations are not easy to get right they involve a worthwhile amount of preparation.
Firstly, really notice the entire context: What's really happening? For you and for them, take an objective stance, sit in their shoes, what do you notice about what they may be experiencing?

Then, focus on what you want, what's the minimum you need for this conversation to be successful? What would exceed your expectations?

In the last few years I have become much better at reflecting and as such I achieve greater success with these crucial conversations when I give careful consideration to my ‘mindset’. Maybe you only have my word for it but try it, tune into how you are thinking about this situation; What are you talking yourself into? How open are you? What/who are you blaming for this dilemma which you are likely to have played a part in? It is your mindset that governs your behaviours so if you don't spend any time considering it then your behaviours may well be out of your control. We think it’s more powerful, empowering and advantageous to be fully conscious of your thought patterns and what they could lead to!

Finally, you might need to plan your behaviours, what you will say, what you’re body language might ‘leak’…. Or …….maybe not, it’s possible that if you've invested in the other three areas first then this becomes the easy bit. So, go ahead and enjoy your ‘Easier’ conversations, and please please have them, they’re crucial to you and your leadership.

We would love to hear about how you stay resourceful for your ‘difficult’ conversations and what stories you can share of your organisational experiences.

We’re all about growth

By – Joanna Smith , Director.

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