6 Simple Ways to Have Productive Conversations

productive conversations“Take responsibility for shifting unproductive conversations into positive ones.” Jeannette Seibly

Imagine having conversations that prevent others from sabotaging your results.

The one simple way to do this is to stop unproductive conversations.

This saves time, money, energy, and relationships.

Non-productive conversations focus on gossip, ongoing conflicts, and the news. These types of conversations leave you feeling un-energized or drained after a team meeting or 1:1 conversation.

Productive conversations are focused on resolving current issues, addressing how potential solutions impact the future, and creating new possibilities for results.

Take Responsibility for Transforming Your Conversations

  1. Use Basic Meeting Tactics. Have an agenda, create minutes, and set up a communication portal with easy access for all team members. As the facilitator or boss, stay on schedule without sacrificing the need to resolve issues (new and old). Remember, for productive outcomes, you need to manage logistical and people for virtual and group meetings. Attend a workshop or use an executive coach to develop facilitation skills, instead of using trial-and-error.
  2. Have 1:1 Meetings. The fastest way to cause unproductive conversations (e.g., side conversations) is to use the full team meeting to handle issues that only impact a few. Instead, handle these types of issues 1:1 or in small group meetings. Share with the team the results of these meetings, where appropriate. Relationship issues should be kept confidential.
  3. Stop Mind-Reading. No one is a mind-reader. Share your expectations out loud and clearly. Reinforce them by repeating the vision and the goal(s) of the project each meeting. Don’t assume anything.
  4. Train to Handle Conflicts. Disagreements, upsets, and conflicts must be addressed immediately. If they aren’t, they will grow from a molehill into a mountain! Unresolved team conflicts will disrupt the meeting due to sniping, barbs and other unproductive comments.
  5. Embrace Tough Conversations. Yes, I said embrace. These are way too easy to avoid, and will cost you the most time and money! Address the “elephant in the room.” Use the straight-talk approach by starting the conversation with the facts. Allow each person to share his/her thoughts and brainstorm as a team to resolve it. Share your concerns last and make sure everyone is really listening.
  6. Engage in Strategic Conversations. Productive conversations focus more on facts and the creation of strategies for win-win-win outcomes. Be candid about the strengths and weaknesses of ideas after brainstorming has been completed. Align on a plan instead of relying on a consensus. Alignment takes away a lot of the unproductive, manipulative comments and self-focused recommendations during conversations.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Being an effective communicator as a boss is the #1 key to your success. It can be difficult to know when to stand up and speak up. Jeannette Seibly has been an award-winning champion for people for the past 26 years. She has guided bosses and teams to excel. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

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