We were training the group about the difference between Understanding Conversations – where people get interested in an idea – and the Performance + Closure conversations that have people take action on it. Eddie found me on a break, and asked, “So you’re trying to bridge the gap between my knowing I need to go […]
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“These people don’t get it. If they understood what we’re about here, they would do their job better.” Jerrie was tired of giving the extra time and attention that two of her people needed in order to be productive team members. We were talking about Understanding Conversations, oddly the most misunderstood of the Four Conversations. […]
“Nobody is accountable here,” Shelly told me. “I used to work in a company where people kept track of their requests and promises, and they were responsible for making sure they got what they needed and did what they said they would do.” I’ve heard this more than once, of course: some people are just […]
“My performance review is due next month,” Edwin said. “I’m going to wait and see what happens, and if she gives me a bad review, I’m going to take it to the union or sue her. She would be totally out of line, and I’m going to turn her in.” That’s a recipe for a […]
That’s what a friend, Earl, said to me two months ago: “I can retire in 1 year and 1 ½ months.” I could tell this wasn’t a simple fact for him, because it was accompanied by a sad face and a sigh of defeat. This guy can’t wait to leave his job behind. We talked […]
The understanding conversation is the one that some senior-level managers and executives dislike. A VP in a financial firm once asked me, “Why should I ask people who work for me to give me input on a plan? Won’t they think I don’t know what I’m doing?” The difficulty is that it is a dialogue, […]
“I wish I could fire this guy,” Evan told me. “I ask him to do something – I’m very specific – and then he doesn’t do it. I asked him to finish that survey and bring it back to me. I get nothing. Is he lazy? Or is he stupid?” I asked Evan to tell […]
I’ve heard two complaints recently that seem to come from the same root cause: reluctance to make a request. #1. A technical specialist– let’s call her Sara – tells me that both she and her Supervisor agree that the Senior Manager of their department is a jerk. This Senior Manager makes decisions without consulting the […]
One of the Four Conversations that get results is a Closure Conversation. There are four ways to have a Closure Conversation, but the second type of Closure Conversation can be especially costly if neglected: Appreciate the people who are working on a project or goal, recognizing what they have accomplished and/or contributed and saying why […]
Shawna has been a senior manager in a state government agency for years, and confessed that the people in her department seem to ignore many of their assignments and her requests for them to produce results. “In fact, it seems like they don’t even hear me.” She was right: they weren’t listening. “They don’t take […]