Improve Performance with Leader Led Conversations
Leaders that have regular conversations with their employees are more likely to engage their employees and improve organizational performance. Gallup research finds, “Employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them.” To have these conversations successfully, leaders need to be highly aware of their own behaviors and consider, ‘What is the intended outcome?’ from the communication.
LEADERS ALWAYS LEAD
The first intended outcome of communication is to build relationships. People become happier and more productive when their leaders take an interest in their personal lives as well as their needs professionally. We know that building relationships with our teams involves connecting our emotional sides with our rational sides. Once a leader has an established relationship and trust with their employees, guiding conversations towards growth and improving performance will become more authentic.
When we approach conversations in a thoughtful manner, our team is more likely to be engaged and motivated to achieve results. Communication between leaders and their team is critical to an organization’s success. Leaders use these conversations to set expectations and improve both individual and team performance. To set performance expectations, leaders are clear during their communication and focused on the outcome. Ask yourself and your team, “What does the best outcome look like?” and “How do we get there?” Leaders who listen to their team show them they are respected and their opinion matters.
People aren’t looking for someone to lecture them, they look for opportunities to learn, grow and be inspired. Connect with your team to learn how you can facilitate their growth in ways that align to the organization’s goals. Set a positive tone and take time during your conversations to celebrate wins and reward and recognize people consistently. Not only will the individual team members benefit but you may benefit as well. For example, Jim Snabe, the former CEO of SAP and current Chairman of Maersk said that, “In every organization his first task was to begin training his replacement so that when the opportunity came for his next step, there’d always be someone ready to fill his role and continue the team’s success.” Grow your team by paving the way for the organization’s success with productive conversations. Each conversation is an opportunity to train a future leader and help them grow into their next position.
Every opportunity you have to be with your team is an opportunity to set an example of what right looks like. Your team is counting on you to be self-aware, model the right behaviors during all interactions, and to listen to and implement their feedback.
3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE LEADER LED CONVERSATIONS
Prepare for the Conversation
- What is the purpose for communication?
- Is this an informal check-in?
- A formal expectation setting conversation?
- A performance adjustment conversation?
- Be very thoughtful.
- How will you express your thoughts and feelings?
- How will the receiver perceive the message?
- Focus on the desired outcome for the communication.
- Communicate in a way that is clear and transparent.
- If you anticipate a difficult conversation, follow one of our courageous conversation models.
Model the Way
- Practice self-awareness. – Learn more about self-awareness by reading Emotional Intelligence.
- Monitor your body language, tone of voice and demeanor.
- Commit to model behaviors regardless if you are in the spotlight, people are always watching leaders.