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Leadership Conversations: Relationship Building



What are your leadership conversations about?

High performance leaders conduct all kinds of conversations -- around performance, goals, aspirations, tasks, schedules, development, customer service, process improvement...all KINDS of conversations. Something every high performance leadership conversation needs is time to build the relationship.

Unhurried. Deeper conversations. Getting to know your people.

That's one reason why two-thirds of the three part conversations we help develop at doug smith training contain relationship building:

1. Small talk
2. Big talk (goals, performance, etc.)
3. Appreciation

You could think of it as a performance sandwich but that's not all of it. The "bread" of that sandwich is all about getting to know each other better, spending meaningful time together, and bonding in such a way that working together becomes easier and more effective.

You're still the boss. You still get to decide in the end. But, as you get to know your people better you'll see how they are becoming more ready to make their own decisions, to take on their own challenges, to lead on their own.

Leaders drive change and change disrupts. People get flustered. Feathers get ruffled. How do your people know that you're still on their side when you challenge them beyond their cozy comfort zone?

Talk about it. We can't tell what something means to our relationship until we talk about it.

Talk about it.

-- doug smith

Leadership Calls to Action:


  • Stay curious
  • Turn toward all offers to connect (when your people want to talk today, talk. Today.)

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