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The Alchemy of Leadership Blog

Tackling Performance and Crucial Conversations

 Most people don't like having difficult performance-based conversations and they avoid conflict for a number of reasons.  

Firstly, they worry about fracturing relationships with their team.  We are tribal animals after all.  We have evolved in packs and have basic fundamental needs to belong and to be liked, valued, safe.  When we find ourselves in a situation where conflict may arise and we have to choose whether to engage with it, too many people will opt to make excuses or ignore the situation, rather than work to resolve it.

Consider an analogy from high performance sport.  Almost every single coaching conversation is around performance and how you can improve.  And yet, in organisations managers and leaders avoid these crucial conversations or use certain situations, such as the annual appraisal, to download all performance-related feedback.  

Secondly, many leaders do not feel equipped to manage conflict, or give performance-based feedback.  It's important for leaders to build trust and rapport with their team so that they can have regular feedback conversations rather than accumulating disappointments over time.

School for CEOs have developed the Leadership Series module, Tackling Performance and Crucial Conversations, to give people the tools and techniques to make these conversations come alive and to integrate them into their everyday work. Delegates will work on how to structure conversations, to disarm objections and to be challenging yet supportive. They will also consider how to bring tough conversations into the team environment to build high performing teams.


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