We Need to Talk – Step Four

by Lynn Scott, Featured Contributor

Editor’s Note: Enjoy Lynn’s earlier Articles in this Series:

We Need to Talk – Step One

We Need to Talk – Step Two

We Need to Talk – Step Three

IN MY PREVIOUS Articles in this series, I’ve been sharing some steps on the journey to mastering those conversations that we’ve been avoiding.

Here’s a recap on what we’ve covered so far:

  • – Step One:  Identify what it is that makes a conversation difficult for YOU
  • – Step Two: identify some choice points
  • – Step Three: Know what you’re feeling and where you’re feeling it

prepared-preparationThis week we’re looking at Preparation.  Because for so many of us the difficult conversation goes on the ‘too difficult right now’ pile. It feels like too big a task to tackle.

That’s because we don’t allow ourselves time to really think about it, let alone start to do some preparation or quality thinking.

So as Stephen Covey would say….

Start with the end in mind.

Here are four questions to get you started.

Question One: What do I want to achieve from this conversation

  • – For me?
  • – For the other person?
  • – For the organisation?

Question Two: What assumptions might I be making about the situation or the other person?  If I were to step into the other person’s shoes, what might I notice?

Question Three: If I imagine the beginning, middle and end of this conversation, what would be included in each part?

  • – Beginning – outline the issue and your reasons for having the conversation.  Be clear and transparent.
  • – Middle – exploration of the issue or situation from both sides.
  • – End – agreement on next steps, the way forward.

Question Four:  How can I prepare for this conversation?  For some people, it helps to write it down; to practise it out loud with a friend, colleague or their coach. (I practise in the car!)

Of course, you can’t script these conversations but you’ll be amazed at how much writing things down or saying them out loud can help you to feel grounded and prepared for the real thing.

I hope this helps you to make a start.

Because  as they say Prior Proper Planning Prevents P**s  Poor Performance


Lynn Scott
Lynn Scotthttp://www.lynnscottcoaching.co.uk/
LYNN Scott writes pragmatic, actionable, no BS tips for busy leaders. Leadership doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s not about fads, theories, models and ‘inspirational quotes.’ It’s about knowing yourself and others at a deeper level; focusing on the right things; taking one step at a time and having a really clear purpose that ignites the fire in others. Plus, of course having the best possible team in place. (Ditch those energy vampires now). Lynn is an Executive Coach working with high achieving, committed men and women and their teams who are ready for their next level of success. She particularly loves seeing technical experts become focused, confident, pro-active leaders. She previously built and led global teams for a UK PLC and learned as much from her leadership mistakes as her successes. She’s a Brit based in the South of France with husband Brian and Border Collie Poppy.

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