Sometimes we want to create a change - perhaps we want to move to a new office or to learn new skills. Other times someone else initiates a change that we have to respond to - your spouse accepts a job in another state or your son decides to go to camp for the whole summer and you find yourself with an empty nest. Change is everywhere! Every industry and every company I work with is dealing with the implications of significant change that has occurred in the past few years. Every coaching client I work with is initiating or accepting changes.
If what you are doing is getting the results you want, keep doing it. If not, it is time to step up and make a change. When we decide to change something then our conversations will have to change too. We have to bring others along to understand how we went from one way of thinking or operating to another way, and why they may want to do so as well. The way we do this is by creating a Conversation for Change. If we do not have a conversation that helps others to understand the change in our thinking, we create a gap between ourselves and others.
It is best to use this type of conversation when:
- A significant change is needed or just occurred
- A new leader joins the organization or team
- A team member's performance is not meeting expectations
- Your boundaries need to be charted or reinforced
- You want open dialogue about current reality and the desired state
- You are undertaking a new mission or project
I lead a mentoring program for a group of high-potential future leaders in a global company. In the recent next round kick-off meeting, we asked the mentees what they wanted to focus on in their relationships with their mentors. This is what they said:
- Get advice on how to grow the business
- Help me see the next step options in my own career
- Determine how best to use my talents
- Learn about team building - how to lead other people to come together to make things happen
- Learn how to handle conflict and challenges
- Learn how to delegate more effectively so I can lead bigger projects
- Model communication skills and guide me to create new types of conversations
These future leaders are eagerly asking for conversations that focus on change and growth. They are initiating the changes they want to occur. They are feeling hopeful and excited to engage in new ways.
What do you want to change? Is there a new skill or ability you would like to develop?
Over the next few Communication Tips I'll be asking you to reflect on what you want to change and providing tips on how to manage, lead and coach others through changes.