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Conversations You Should Have Every Week With Your Leadership Team

Conversations are the backbone of your culture.

Conversations with your team are not what you think they are. Many people have a narrow-minded view of conversations. They believe that conversations are sharing information, giving direction, or persuading people. 

Conversations are more than that. They have the power to shape reality.

It is through conversations that we connect and communicate. Neuroscience has discovered that healthy conversations lead to trust, engagement, understanding, and transparency. Where unhealthy conversations can lead to distrust, deceit, avoidance, and betrayal. 

Conversations are the backbone of your culture. They affect your bottom line, ability to communicate, and have a direct impact on the health and productivity of your culture.

  • $26, 401 is the total estimated cost of productivity losses resulting from communication barriers, per employee per year. (David Grossman, The Holmes Report, July 2011)
  • $62.4 Million is the total estimated cost of employee misunderstanding for a 100,000 employee company per year. (David Grossman, The Holmes Report, July 2011)
  • Companies lead by highly effective communicators produced 47% higher returns to shareholders over the last five years. (David Grossman, The Holmes Report, July 2011)

Before you have conversations about strategy, goal-setting, and project updates, have weekly conversations that lead to increased trust, engagement, and innovation. 

Discover What is Possible

Great leaders are intensely curious.  Invite your team to explore possibilities. Possibilities not only with their team, but with themselves. 

When you have weekly conversations based on exploration you create high trust with your team. They relax and become more receptive, cooperative, and open to share.  

  • Explore what your leaders want out of their career.  What are their aspirations? 
  • Explore and be curious what it takes to keep them engaged, growing, and top-performing. 
  • If they had no limitations, explore what would teams would look like? What would they look like as a team leader? 

On The Same Page

When teams aren’t on the same page it causes miscommunication, uncertainty, and distrust. Lack of understanding in organizations affects the ability of the team to see and validate other’s perspectives. 

Invite your team to discuss what it looks like, in your current culture, to have clarity and understanding. 

  • What does it looks like to clarify the meanings of words, concepts, and practices within our culture?
  • What does it looks like to create a safe environment where employees feel safe to ask questions?  
  • What does it look like to step into the other person’s shoes, in our organization, and see the world from their eyes? How can we use these insights to gain understanding?

Intent vs Impact

People don’t realize the power of intent. 

Numerous organizations have dealt with the repercussions of employee actions or language, that is perceived as offensive. As a result, employees attempt to deflect criticism by claiming it wasn’t their intent. 

Intent is both conscious and unconscious, and it affects they way trust is perceived in conversations. 

Therefore, start with the end in mind. Being with defining the desired impact. 

  • Ask your leadership team, what type of impact do you want from your conversations? 
  • Establish and define what is the impact they aspire to have with their co-workers, employees, and customers?
  • Have conversations around how they want to impact the community?  

Evaluate Assumptions

It’s an important skill to have a nonjudgemental discussion of organizational assumptions and disappointments as part of your team’s problem-solving abilities. This impacts trust by providing insights into narrow misunderstandings and closing reality gaps. 

Have your team explore conversations around assumptions by asking:

  • What would the situation be like if your assumptions were not true?
  • Do we assume that everyone is on the same page? 
  • What assumptions do you hold about the team?

Celebrate Shared Success

Teams bond together when they create a shared vision of success. The neocortex engages, opening up the brain for trust, and allows team members to feel psychologically safe to create a framework for mutual success.  

Have conversations with your leadership team that allows them to pursue shared interests and celebrated shared successes. 

Ask your team: 

  • What does mutual success look like? 
  • Are we open to other perspectives? 
  • How often do people, in our culture, create the future with other team members?

Your leadership team shapes the culture, performance, and future of your organization. Their behavior impacts productivity and success. And while many leadership teams excel at developing winning strategies, they need to engage in conversations that will allow them to navigate human behavior which will lead them, and the entire organization to success. 

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