Robust Performance Conversations
Without clarity of expectations, both in terms of roles and in terms of tasks you cannot with good conscience hold a person to account for their performance.
In addition, without a culture where blame is non-existent and a genuine desire of leaders to create great working relationships, I really question how effective our organisations will be. I predict the gap between actual performance and potential performance will continue to be very wide and just a distant dream for many.
Developing your skills to have productive conversations is very important, not only in the workplace but for all relationships. In my last post I discussed the importance of social process skills. So we know it is important but how do we build our capability to do it well?
Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent CommunicationTM (NVC) is a fantastic method for communicating without judging and meeting everyone’s needs. Now I am very much a Jackal trying to shift to a Giraffe so I am not the right person to write about how to apply this so here are two links to better material, Martha Lasley’s paper Difficult Conversations: Authentic Communication Leads to Greater Productivity and a video featuring Marshall Rosenberg introducing NVC – the analogy of Jackal and Giraffe will make sense if you watch the video, which I sincerely hope you invest some time in.
Image courtesy of Sven Hartenstein
In my next post I will discuss “understanding the work” the middle element of the framework around which all other elements are centred.
Over the last year I have with a colleague of mine (Richard Barber), been working on a framework for leadership development built on a strong theoretical base but practical in its application. In this post I will outline the elements of the framework and in subsequent posts I will discuss the parts and how they fit together. The individual parts draw from a number of great organisational thinkers across different disciplines and together I think they provide a great practical guide for leaders at any level. I will try and provide links to the original material to the extent possible and maintain a high standard of referencing.
Some of the material come from a guide a wrote for a client a while back as part of a project designed to build operational leadership capability but as per usual, my thinking has evolved since then and I thought blogging would be a good way to my own thinking fresh. Hopefully these posts will serve a dual purpose; firstly to support my own thinking and development, and secondly, should anyone else happen to stumble upon it and see some value in it well then that fantastic. I would be delighted if you would comment on anything that you think is incorrect or unclear in anyway.
The topics I intend to cover are:
- Leadership AND Management
- Decision making
- Task assignment
- Performance conversations
Understanding the work
- Enhancing system performance
- Enhancing people performance
- Issues with common change management methods
- Systemic change
- Understanding the domain (Cynefin)
- Sensitive risks