When it comes to sharing touchy information, the worst alternate between bluntly dumping their ideas into the pool of meaning and saying nothing at all. Either they start with, “You’re not going to like this, but, hey, somebody has to be honest…”(a classic Fool’s Choice), or they simply stay mum. Those who are good at dialogue say some of what’s on their minds, but they understate their views out of fear of hurting others. They talk all right, but they carefully sugarcoat their message. The best at dialogue speak their minds completely and do it in a way that makes it safe for others to hear what they have to say and respond to it as well. They are both totally frank and completely respectful.
Let’s define 2 terms, related to Crucial Conversations: * Content – the topic of the conversation / under discussion / message * Conditions – what people are doing in response (how people are feeling and acting, what tone they were taking)
The first principle of dialogue – Start with the heart. That is, your own heart. If you can’t get yourself right, you’ll have a hard time getting dialogue right. When conversations become crucial, you’ll resort to the forms of communication that you’ve grown up with – debate, silent treatment, manipulation, and so on.
In this new series of articles about how to manage crucial conversations we will continue to deep dive in learning tools for talking when stakes are high. In the previous article we defined what a crucial conversation is, and the current one we will address the power of dialogue.
What makes one of your conversations crucial as opposed to plain vanilla? First, opinions vary. For example, you’re talking with your boss about a possible promotion. She/he thinks you’re not ready; you think you are. Second, stakes are high. You’re in a meeting with four coworkers and you’re trying to pick a new marketing strategy. You’ve got to do something different or your company isn’t going to hit its annual goals. Third, emotions run strong. You’re in the middle of a casual discussion with your spouse and he or she brings up an “ugly incident” that took place at yesterday’s neighborhood block party. Apparently not only did you flirt with someone at the party, but according to your spouse, “You were practically making out.” You don’t remember flirting. You simply remember being polite and friendly. Your spouse walks of in a huff.
We already covered how to “Communicate Unequivocally” and “Lead Responsibly” so it’s time for the 3rd article related to the book “Dark Cockpit”. Let’s talk about how to have a plan for helping us to control or manage the unpredictable.
This is the second summary-article inspired by the book “Dark Cockpit”. In the previous one the focus was on how to communicate unequivocally, and this time we will cover the responsibility topic.
Your employees want to know that whoever is at the helm can make good decisions and keep them in mind when they do.
The test of a leader is if they have their team better than they found it. If you had to leave your team tomorrow, for whatever reason, how would they do? And we’re not just looking at numbers, but at the team’s potential to reach new heights in the future.
“Dark Cockpit” by Emil Dobrovolschi and Octavian Pantis is a book that learns us how to become a better pilot for our projects, for our people, and even in life outside work by using valuable principles from aviation.
What is a dark cockpit? That is what we call a situation where no lights are on – no blue for extra usage, amber for caution, or red for danger. Everything is going smoothly. Everything is under control and working within its normal parameters. The plane is flying, and the passengers are doing their own thing: reading a book, watching a movie, having a snack, etc.