In our planning day in January we reviewed our Vision, Mission and Core Values to make sure they are still relevant and inspirational, created the theme “Raising the bar” for 2013 and set our goals. I then spoke to each member of the team to make sure they understood what our purpose is, how they contributed to our ongoing success and to review their performance.
In the past I skirted around conversations I needed to have with my team about their performance to avoid upsetting them or perhaps, heaven forbid, make them angry. As a result they weren’t empowered to take responsibility for their actions while I carried the burden of accountability.
However I read a book by Susan Scott called Fierce Conversations where she gave practical advice about how to have important conversations. Just seeing the word “fierce” can have us feel uncomfortable but Susan says “In its simplest form, a fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation, and make it real.”
She says there are seven components to delivering your opening statement when dealing with an issue:
- Name the issue
- Select a specific example that illustrates the behaviour or situation you want to change and the negative results it is currently creating
- Describe your emotions about this issue
- Clarify what is at stake if nothing changes
- Identify your contribution to this problem
- Indicate your wish to resolve the issue
- Invite your partner to respond
Having fierce conversations with my team has strengthened our relationships. I’m proud of them and feel honoured to be sharing this journey. Is there anyone on your team or in your life you need to have a Fierce Conversation with? Read the book by Susan Scott first and prepare.
Love to hear your thoughts.