The conversation behind the conversation

The conversation behind the conversation | Aspire-CS

Be clear on your intent. You’ll want to address the patterns of behavior that you observe and the impact they have. Consider how to phrase your observations in “I” language (rather than “you did such-and-such”) and briefly describe the impact the behavior is making on you, the team, the project, or the organization. It’s okay to state how it makes you feel (“frustrated”, “angry”, “upset”, “rushed”, etc.).

Listen carefully to their side once you’ve made your statement. Don’t allow escalation of your voice or body language. Just listen. You don’t have to fill in pauses, because it’s their turn to talk and think – let them do so, even if you disagree. Stay calm and they may follow suit. If they get too angry or heated, suggest that you pick up the conversation again later.

Ask if there is something they need from you. It might be more clarity on deadlines, more detail on expectations, or more time to get things completed. Maybe they need help from someone that you can facilitate an introduction with. A leader will take responsibility for what they can do in the situation.

Ask how you both can move forward from here: What are you committing to? How will you implement your commitments? Now move on and do your part, modelling the commitment you’ve made. If they don’t meet their commitment, revisit the conversation.


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