A 6-part series focusing on impactful practices for developmental coaching conversations.
"The hardest thing for people to understand is that the relationship is the delivery system of anything you try to accomplish." - Peter Block
Challenging conversations are uncomfortable for everyone. No one likes to address sensitive topics, and if we choose to avoid these conversations, we are unwittingly accepting the behavior or actions. There are a few things you can be mindful of when prepping for a potentially tough conversation – stick to the FACTS.
- Before discussing the issue with the other person, find your center. Pause for a moment and reflect on your mindset. Identify your feelings – are you feeling frustration, anxious, tired, hostility or simply uncomfortable with having this type of conversation? Take a moment to consider how you might recalibrate your emotional state to one that is more open and curious.
- Focus on the unarguable and observable facts. Discuss the impacts this situation is creating and invite them to see the need to change. Share these facts and impacts in a nonjudgmental way. Provide feedback that is helpful and helps them to see potential blind spots.
- Accept their perspective and reality of the situation. Listen to them with the intention of identifying what’s important to them. Acknowledge their reality and any feelings that may surface.
- Co-create courageous goals or next steps. Create a space that invites the other person to identify their goals and the necessary changes they will take to change the situation for the betterment of all.
- Take action. Once a decision is made to move forward, provide them with the support and autonomy to take action and trust them and the process.
- Offer continued support. When you see corrective action taken, acknowledge their good work and efforts.
Conflict can be constructive and helpful (or destructive) depending on how you choose to respond and provide feedback. When our egos and judgements get in the way, it becomes overwhelming and destructive. When we as leaders remain open, trusting, and supportive, the conflict becomes nothing more than creative tension. Every conversation we have as leaders is an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves and people. Be a student of people and continuously choose to refine your relationship skills. And as Peter Block mentions, the relationship is the key.
Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.
Read Part 3 here.
Read Part 4 here.
Read Part 5 here.
Learn more how IMEC can help your leaders become impactful coaches here.