Up Your Conversation Game

Conversations have never been more important. They are the portal, not only for connection, but also for clarity, alignment, and innovation. Without effective and meaningful conversation we risk not getting the information we need, not seeing the full picture of dynamics at play, and not moving forward together. All of this directly impacts our results, as leaders and also as organizations.

In some ways, COVID moved the conversation agenda forward in that leaders needed to connect more regularly with peers and direct reports, and do so with greater empathy, curiosity, and support. For many leaders this strengthened new muscles, and for others, it sharpened strengths they already had.

As we continue to grapple with the ongoing ups and downs of COVID, stress, workload, and pressure still remain high. Leaders may be tempted to return to old habits such as:

  • Directing/telling rather than pausing to ask questions
  • Taking the task over yourself rather than developing your people
  • Checking in but not sharing yourself or being fully present

The lesson we learned through the pandemic, and it hasn’t changed, is that these old habits don’t work. When we simply try to direct or do things ourselves without a real connection to our people, it doesn’t work because there is simply too much to hold, know, and navigate on our own. We must build trusting, connected and purposeful relationships, and the only real way to do that is through conversation.

What is the quality of the conversations you’re having these days?
– with your team?
– your direct reports?
– your leaders?

In your next conversation, how can you…
Be more authentic and show you’re all in?
Be more curious and show you don’t have all the answers?
Be more connected and show you care?

Each opportunity for a conversation opens up a blank slate. Take it and try something new.