How To Have Intentional Conversations With Those You Lead

Coaching happens through strategic conversations. Strategic conversations don’t happen by accident, you must be intentional.

In the busyness and day-to-day grind, it can be easy to miss opportunities to have intentional conversations with the team you lead. Coaching your team to develop them personally and professionally is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader. This not only benefits your team but is necessary for your organization to be healthy, succeed, and grow.

How can you ensure these conversations happen? How do you bring up the sometimes difficult issues that need to be discussed?

  1. SCHEDULE A TIME – If you don’t schedule times to have these conversations they usually won’t happen. Decide on the interval (monthly, every 3 months, 6 months, etc.) that’s best for you and get them on the calendar.
  2. INTRODUCE THE 5Cs – At some point before you meet introduce them to the 5Cs. This can be done in a team meeting, one-on-one, email or blog post.
  3. ASSIGN HOMEWORK – When you setup a time to meet, ask your team member to give thought to the 5Cs. Have them:
    A) Score themselves in each area from 1-10
    B ) Put an arrow if they think each area is increasing, decreasing or holding flat.
  4. YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK – You also assign your team member a score in each area and put an arrow on what you see their trajectory as. Don’t worry, this should take less than five minutes!
  5. MEET – When you meet use the 5Cs as your outline. Go through each area. Compare your scores and trajectories to theirs. Watch for two things:
    A) Areas where there is a disconnect between what you see and what they perceive (this will be apparent if your scores and trajectories don’t match up.) When this happens great conversation occurs!

    B) Identify an area for the team member to focus on before you meet again. Determine goals, training resources, and next steps in this area.
    This simple tool helps facilitate intentional and difficult conversations. It ensures that your conversations aren’t just performance oriented, but development oriented where you focus on both what’s best for your organization and your team member!

When is the next one-on-one scheduled with the people you lead?

Question: What have you found helpful in having intentional conversations with those you lead? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *