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On the margins

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

Are you walking the talk,

or walking away from the talk?

We are often masters at avoiding difficult conversations, we are wired this way genetically through centuries of fighting for survival ahead of intelligent persuasiveness. But the challenges we face today, require us to run toward the problem, rather than away from it.

What is a crucial conversation you may have been avoiding?

Write this down.

Consider: what are the facts?

Practice: detaching the stories we tell ourselves from the facts

Decide to: create a safe space this week to either have the conversation, or practice having the conversation

Crucial Conversations.

The best framework I’ve found for navigating high-stakes conversations is the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Swizler.[i] The framework was discovered when the authors went on a research expedition seeking to identify the distinguishing features that made high-performing companies stand out. But instead of finding a common management strategy, they discovered that ‘the edge’ came down to an ability to navigate crucial conversations, be they high stakes or high emotions.

As Crucial Conversations points out, it is human nature to avoid pain and discomfort. Leading in the working environment is no different. But research has shown that healthy relationships, careers, organisations and communities all draw from the same source of power: the ability to talk openly about high-stakes, emotional, controversial topics.

Crucial Conversations provides a simple model based on seven steps:

[i] Patterson, Kerry, Joseph Grenny, Joseph, McMillan, Ron, and Swizler, Al, Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2012.

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