Honest conversation – saying what really needs to be said

Having honest convoReflect for a moment on how well you engage in honest conversations. Do you have the frank and upfront discussions you need to that allow people to understand reality?  Do you enable people to improve and grow by helping them to see what they can do differently? Do you give people the insight they need to truly understand why they are struggling?

All too often I observe managers avoiding the difficult conversations they really do need to have. 
Many fail to invest the time or energy it takes to help someone build the awareness, skills or approach needed.   Others avoid having honest conversation because they worry about their ability to communicate clearly.  Some hold back from saying how it really is because they worry about how they will feel or the team member will react.

Engaging in honest conversations is critical if we are to have any real influence on the way people think, feel, behave and ultimately perform. Transparent and sincere dialogue is essential to any leaders ability to not only develop the capabilities of people on their team but to address underperformance also.  Here are seven essential steps to ensuring you engage in honest conversations that make a positive difference:

  1. Act with good intent

Focus on your obligation to tell it how it really is.  Know that by telling the truth you are making a positive difference.

  1. Deliver tough love

Be completely honest while delivering feedback with compassion and sensitivity. While the truth matters so too does nurturing the spirit and confidence of the individual we are trying to help.

  1. Engage in dialogue

Conversations are a two way street. Invite people to share their own views about what they are able to do well and what they can or should do differently.

  1. Get over yourself

It is a matter of integrity that you do the job you signed up for and get past the hesitations that hold you back from speaking and hearing the truth through honest conversation.

  1. Leverage and nurture trust

Earn and nurture trust by behaving fairly and with compassion.  Avoid personal judgments or criticisms and focus instead on events, behaviours or capabilities.

  1. Be Direct

Be straight with people and avoid the common mistake of softening your message.  Doing so undermines clarity and is most likely to lead to confusion.

  1. Be specific

Avoid ague criticisms and help people to understand the specific behaviours or capabilities they need to develop.  Provide examples that allow them to understand your feedback.

If you want to learn more about how to have honest conversations that enable your team and business to thrive, join us for a FREE breakfast seminar:

Date:           Wednesday 20th May 2015

Time:          7.30am – 9.00am

Location:    Amora Hotel – 649 Bridge Road, Richmond, Victoria 3121

RSVP:        To register please email info@ryangately.com.au

                    Limited seatings is available

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