The Director's Dreaded Call A text caught my attention. ‘Need your advice fast.’ A client, I’ll call Jenny requested some coaching quick. We hastily set up a coaching call. An escalating workplace dispute was threatening to undermine her team’s collegial culture & performance. As Director, she needed to ensure she’d ace these dreaded time-sensitive conversations. Two of Jenny’s most talented managers, both keen to advance their careers were locked in a fierce dispute over who contributed most to the success of a high profile initiative and was entitled to be the lead author and presenter to the executive team. As the Director, Jenny knew she had to act fast. Yet, even as an experienced and well respected leader, she was dreading her conversations with her sparring managers. Our Call: After encouraging Jenny to vent for a few minutes regarding her disappointment and frustration with having to resolve this issue with two of her top performers, we worked through what I like to call The Convo Cure. The Model involves a number of carefully selected questions which walk the client through their why for addressing the issue, their intended outcomes and success metrics, an analysis of potential contributing factors both personal and professional, and then drafting a script as guide for the intended conversation. As the Coach, I pay particular attention to the tone and content of the Client’s messages to guide them in rephrasing and practicing an engaged and results oriented delivery of their key messages.
Jenny also needed to decide whether to conduct the conversations independently, with each manager or more as a mediator bringing the two managers together. She decided to meet with them independently first. She felt this would provide the best chance for appreciating their perspectives and the implications of their dispute. Jenny and I designed a series of questions, for the managers, that Jenny would send as pre-work to guide them in preparing for their conversation with her. Jenny blocked off their calendars and held the meetings back to back. The conversations went well and right after the second meeting Jenny brought the two of them in and guided them through The Conversation Cure. The Results: The next day, Jenny let me know that the conversations went well and that the whole exercise advanced the managers’ communication skills and professionalism. If you're dreading a conversation?-contact The Convo Coach.
Contact The Convo Coach. Sit back, enjoy a few deep breaths then Book Your Call, Today! We'll quickly have you ready to ACE that dreaded conversation.
Quote of the week “I don't know what he means by that, but I nod and smile at him. You'd be surprised at how far that response can get you in a conversation where you are completely confused.” - Jodi Picoult, House Rules 2010
“Asking questions and listening to the responses from a place of curiosity vs interrogation are among the most important yet most difficult things to do during a heated conversation.” - Suzanne Park, Lead Convo Coach