Waiting for Disaster

“The health of a relationship, team or organization is best measured by the average time lag between identifying and discussing problems.” @JosephGrenny

How long does it take you to talk about a challenge with your team or a co-worker? One of the indicators of a healthy organization is how long it takes for problems to be discussed. I heard Joseph Grenny at the 2014 Willow Creek Leadership Summit and he had some great advice.

Joseph calls these discussions Crucial Conversations. I’ve been amazed at the impact this kind of dialog can have in an organization. Communication starts to open up, management is able to make better decisions, and gossip starts to become less prevalent in an organization.

So how do you have these conversations? You can find a lot of great information from his book, Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High.  His key recommendations include:

  • Suspend Judgement (hold off on drawing conclusions)

  • Describe the Gap (use facts not opinions to describe the situation)

  • Get Curious (use open ended questions to seek to understand someone else’s perspective)

I think what’s most important is making sure to have these conversations and trying to keep an open mind when you do. Steven Covey says, “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” It is amazing the quality of dialog you can have if you really try and listen and understand someone else’s perspective.

Are you having crucial conversations?  Would love your thoughts @infosmallchange #ascblog

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