The Coach's Corner

Archive for January, 2014

Do you listen to or read points of view that are different than yours?

January 20th, 2014 // Tom Doescher //

We recently read a book written by an author whose economic positions are diametrically opposite from ours. We read it because there is one aspect to our position that bothers us, and we wanted to find out what he had to say on that point. Although the author didn’t offer a solution we would endorse, we gained a much better understanding of where he is coming from — and that solidified and deepened our commitment to our original position. Too often we observe leaders who just parrot their mentor or hero, as it may be, and do not have as deep a knowledge of the subject matter as we believe they should. We think such a lack of knowledge and understanding hurts these leaders’ effectiveness with their team members.

When is the last time you read a book or listened to a speaker who has a viewpoint that’s different than yours?

Crucial Conversations, Part 3

January 6th, 2014 // Tom Doescher //

This is the final installment (read part 1 and part 2) of our key takeaways from a wonderful book entitled Crucial Conversations. Here goes …

  1. Am I pretending not to notice my role in the problem?
  2. Why would a reasonable, rational, and decent person do this?
  3. We should make sure we tell our story as a story, rather than disguising it as a fact (i.e. I was wondering why …).
  4. Most arguments consist of battles over the 5 to 10 percent of the facts and stories about which people disagree.
  5. Decide how to decide. The four methods of decision-making are: Command, Consult, Vote, and Consensus. To determine which method you’re using, ask these four questions: Who cares? Who knows? Who must agree? How many people is it worth involving? (Editorial comment: Our mentor used to say, “Be careful what you ask for.”)
  6. Consult with others regarding a decision when: (1) many people will be affected, (2) you can gather information relatively easily, (3) people care about the decision, and (4) there are many options, some of them controversial.
  7. To avoid common decision-making traps, make sure you consider the following four elements: Who? Does what? By when? How will you follow up?

We would still highly recommend reading the book, unless you live in a cave by yourself and have no contact with other people. When we reflect on the really great leaders we personally know, we realize they are all experts at deftly handling crucial conversations.

Let’s all commit to improving our crucial conversation skills this year.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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