... How To Have Courageous Conversations
We need to develop a culture of holding Courageous Conversations – speaking the kind truth - in our organisations. Be up front with your colleagues and explain the difference between speaking the truth and speaking the kind truth. Let them know that you’ll be having courageous conversations with individuals to help them become more effective and to help move your business or department forward. If they know it’s in your organisation’s DNA then they’re more receptive when it happens.
The poet David White said that ‘True authentic leaders are great at having courageous conversations”. People are actually desperate for the kind truth. There’s a technical term for leaders who don’t like to tell people the kind truth – cowards. Nobody wants to eat a live frog. But the longer you put it off, the larger and larger it looms. Sir John Jones (@sirjohnfjones) says, eat the frog at the start of the day. Don't put off holding courageous conversations, as it only gets more difficult.
A great opening line he uses is, "I don't want to have the following conversation on a personal level, but professionally we have to have it". You'll find it much easier to then speak the kind truth. It's also much better than saying, “I don’t know how we’re going to manage without you, but from Monday we’re going to give it a go!"
Look for opportunities to have “How do you feel about....” conversations with colleagues, rather than just chewing the fat with them. “How do you feel about the idea for the new branding?” “How do you feel about what I said this morning?” “How do you feel about the new system for logging enquiries?” It’s a great way to get them to open up and perhaps give you some kind truth as well.