Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.54 Fierce Conversations

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Introduction

. Under the title of fierce conversations, there are several available techniques, ie

mineral rights

questions for one‐to‐ones

decision tree

preparing an issue for discussion

the confrontation model

. Each of these techniques involves the 7 principles of fierce conversations:

i) master the courage to interrogate reality

No plan survives its collision with reality; we are changing all the time. Not only do we forget to share this with others, but we are skilled at hiding it from ourselves

ii) come out from behind yourself in the conversation and make it real

While many fear "real", it is the unreal conversations that are more dangerous and scary. When the conversation is real, the change occurs because the conversation is over. You will accomplish much by making every conversation as real as possible

iii) be here, prepared to be nowhere else

Our work, out relationships and our lives succeed or fail, one conversation at the time; while no one conversation is guaranteed to transform our organisation, our relationship, or a life, any single conversation can. Speak and listen as if it is the most important conversation you have ever had

iv) tackle your compass challenge today

Burnout doesn't occur because we're solving problems; it occurs because we're been trying to solve the same problem over and over. The problem named is the problem solved. Identify and then confront the real obstacles in your path. Stay current with people important to your success and happiness

v) obey your instincts

Don't just trust your instincts ‐ obey them

vi) take responsibility for your emotional wake

The conversation is not about the relationship; the conversation is the relationship; learning to deliver the message without the bias allows you to speak with clarity, conviction and compassion. Sometimes you don't realize and remember the impact you have had on other people based on what you have said to them

vii) let silence do the heavy lifting

Memorable conversations include breathing space; slow down the conversation, so that insight can occur in the space between words and you can discover what the conversation really is

Techniques

1. Mineral rights

"...one of the greatest gifts we can give another is the purity of our attention. To mine for greater clarity, improved understanding and impetus for change, ask colleagues/employees, etc to do the following and listen carefully to the response..."

Susan Scott, 2002

Step 1 ‐ identify your most pressing issue

Step 2 ‐ clarify the issue

Step 3 ‐ determine the current impact

Step 4 ‐ determine the future implications

Step 5 ‐ examine your personal contribution to this issue

Step 6 ‐ commit to action

2. Questions for one‐to‐one

i) What has become clear since last we met?

ii) What's the area that, if you made an improvement, would give you and others the greatest return on time, energy and dollars invested?

iii) What's currently impossible to do that, if it were possible, would change everything?

iv) What are you trying to make happen in the next 3 months?

v) What's the most important decision you're facing? What's keeping you from making it?

vi) What topic are you hoping I won't bring up?

vii) What area under your responsibility are you most satisfied with? Least satisfied with?

viii) What part of your responsibilities are you avoiding right now?

ix) Who are your strongest employees? What are you doing to ensure that they're happy and motivated?

x) Who are your weakest employees? What is your plan for them?

xi) What conversations are you avoiding right now?

xii) What do you wish you had more time to do?

xiii) What things are you doing that you would like to stop doing or delegate to someone else?

xiv) If you were hired to consult with our organisation, what would you advise?

xv) If you were competing against an organisation, what would you do?

xvi) What threatens you peace? What threatens your business? Your health? Your personal fulfilment?

3 Decision tree

. The decision tree is a technique for delegation and professional development. You know your staff are growing and developing when more and more of their decisions are moved to the leaf level.

Leaf decisions

Make the decision; act on it; do not report the action you took

Branch decisions

Make the decision; act on it; report the action you took daily, weekly, or monthly

Trunk decisions

Make decisions; report your decision before you take action

Root decisions

Make the decisions jointly; with input from many people

4 Preparing an issue for discussion

"...preparing your presentation of an issue helps prevent incoherent or incomplete explanations of the problem. Additionally, your team members appreciate good use of the time. At the top of the appreciation list is the accurate identification of the problem..."

Susan Scott, 2002

i) The issue is.....

Be concise; in one or two sentences, get to the heart of the problem. Is it a concern, challenge, opportunity, or recurring problem that is becoming more troublesome?

ii) It is significant because....

What's at stake? How does this impact on our bottom‐line, people, products, services, customers, family, timing, the future or other relevant factors? What is the future impact if the issue is not resolved?

iii) My ideal outcome is....

What specific results do I want?

iv) Relevant background information

Summarized with bullet points: how, when, why, and where did the issue start? Who are the key players? Which forces are at work? What is the issue's current status?

v) What I have done up to this point

What have I done so far? What options am I considering?

vi) The help I want from the group is....

What inputs do I want from the group? For example, alternative solutions, confidence regarding the right decision, identification of consequences, where to find more information, critique of the current plan, etc

5 Confrontation Model

"... this model allows us to confront tough issues with courage, compassion and skill. Leadership is provided and relationships are enriched..."

Susan Scott, 2002

Opening statement

Write your opening statement and practise saying it out loud, in 60 seconds or less; your opening statement should:

ii) name the issue

iii) select a specific example that illustrates the behaviour or situation you want to change

iv) describe your emotions about this issue

v) clarify what is at stake

vi) identify your contribution to this problem

vii) indicate your wish to resolve the issue

viii) invite your colleague/employee to respond

Interaction

viii) look at your colleague/employee's views; use paraphrasing and a perception check; dig for full understanding; don't be satisfied with the surface; make sure your colleague/employee knows that you fully understand and acknowledge his/her position and interests

Resolution

ix) What have we learned? Where are we now? Has anything been left unsaid that needs saying? What is needed for resolution? How can we move forward from here, given our new understanding?

xii) Make a new agreement and determine how you will hold each other responsible for keeping it

(source: Susan Scott, 2002)

 

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