The Three Conversations Leaders Need to Have

The Three Conversations Leaders Need to Have

If James Humes was correct when he asserted that “every time you speak, you are auditioning for leadership,” then every conversation presents an opportunity to either advance or regress your leadership.

What do your conversations say about you as a leader??? There was a time when moving information up and down the organization was one of the biggest parts of a leader’s job. That day has passed. Sure, you still need to make sure that the people in your organization have the accurate and timely information necessary to do their work and your boss needs to know how your business is doing — but times have changed.

Increasingly, the people in your organization don’t need more information, they need more perspective. They need more meaning. And they need a personal mission. What they really need is more leadership. And the most effective leadership happens one conversation at a time.

It is important to understand that communication is not simply an important leadership competency. It is your leadership. Leadership and communication are synonymous. There are three, and likely only three, conversations that need to be part of every leader’s repertoire.?

1) The Organization’s Story – It’s the leader’s job to remind others of the organization’s story and how their story (the other person’s) connects with and adds to the bigger, organization story. Every conversation presents an opportunity to advance both stories.

2) The Constructive Confrontation – Constructive confrontation is not about criticizing, blaming or making accusations. Successful leaders confront others not to fix them, but out of genuine concern for them and a desire to provide information that will ultimately be valuable to them and help them perform at a higher level.

3) The Coaching Conversation – The coaching conversation is virtually devoid of self-interest. It is all about the other person. The hallmark of a coaching conversation is unmistakable: the other person leaves the conversation better in some way: a new idea, a fresh perspective or a renewed personal commitment; affirmed, challenged or energized.

—The author of this article, ??Gregg Thompson, is president of Bluepoint Leadership Development. More info:

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