Sometimes we leave a conversation feeling energized and excited, confident that we had a meaningful connection with someone. Other times we leave a conversation just feeling relieved that it is over and that we don't have to face any more uncomfortable questions and awkward silences. What separates these good conversations from the bad ones?
Preparing for performance reviews is a year-long process. That means managers - or anyone who has an employee - needs to create an ongoing conversation with employees about performance. The "Performance Review" is a written summary of these on-going conversations.
Recently, I interviewed Shawn to find out what communication tips she has for general managers, supervisors and safety professionals about how to improve their safety coaching and leadership communication skills.1. How do you recommend that safety professionals train new staff to develop their safety skills?
Managers spend a lot of energy instilling in their team members a sense of accountability. One of the best ways to do so is with a discussion focused on their projects list. Very simply, a projects list is a listing of every project an employee has agreed to complete. The list isn't a step-by-step plan of how to complete the project. It's a menu of all the projects for which the employee is responsible.
Every time someone you mentor or coach expresses a desire to accomplish something professionally, you have an opportunity for a conversation about accountability. That's because the best way-and sometimes the only way-- to help those you are developing stay on track and achieve their goals is to create a structure for accountability. The word "accountability" often has a negative connotation, because it gets confused with micro-management, which isn't the same thing.
Shawn Kent Hayashi's article, "Mentoring An Age-Old Idea That Works Now" is highlighted in the May/June 2012 edition of Insights & Strategies.To view the Insights & Strategies magazine, please click here.
We are lucky to have several interns this summer who are bright, creative and resourceful. It is important that they know how to create conversations and engage people. To work for The Professional Development Group it is not a requirement that a person already be a gifted conversationalist - it is expected that they want to learn how to create meaningful conversations.
Here's an example of a mistake I've seen too often: Juan receives feedback from his manager, Kristi, telling him he needs "to do a better job of communicating with the staff." Kristi is frustrated; it shows in her curt tone in the hallway as she and Juan walk out of a meeting together. Others around them overheard and Juan didn't have a chance to respond-Kristi simply turned and walked away.
People get off-track; your job as a manager or coach is to get them back on course. Helping people navigate through a difficult point in their career is one example. Although these conversations aren't always easy, they do build trust and respect when they are carefully navigated.
Imagine this: You have an employee who desperately wants to develop a new ability or skill. As their manager or coach, your first step is to get them thinking about the ability they want to master. Questions to begin this conversation include:What is important about this ability to you?How will this ability benefit you?Whom do you know who is particularly strong in this ability?What do they currently do differently than you do?