I was listening to the news yesterday and they were talking about President Obama and how there were various national leaders who were seeking an audience with him. Leaders who wanted to have a ‘dance’…a conversations with the President.
I then thought about who I wanted to put on my dance card – who is it that I want to have a conversation with and for what purpose.
As a leader, the types of conversations you have, include:
- Connection and intimacy - in relationship with others, these are the conversations for connection e.g. “How was your weekend?”
- Shared Understanding - trying to be understood and understand in order to make plans and decisions e.g. “Oh so you mean X …Ok let’s call them”
- Coordinating Action - getting things done through making agreements about who will do what by when e.g. “Ok so I will call Ken and arrange a time to discuss the report”
As leaders it is essential that you develop your conversational skills so you can achieve organisational objectives. Effective conversations in the workplace enable us to accomplish:
· clarity and shared understanding,
· possibility (including new ideas and new ways of thinking),
· agreement and commitment,
· strategic direction,
· cooperation, coordination and collaboration,
· improved relationships, and
· desired outcomes
To effectively lead and manage you must:
- Take hold of the conversational systems and practices of the organisation
- Become an expert at knowing what type of conversation to have to achieve the result you want
- Become a ‘conversational expert’
You must identify who you want on your dance card and what conversation you will have.