When was the last time you executed a flawless VITAL conversation? Most will be scratching your hear right now and after some deep soul searching will conclude that you have avoided more VITAL conversations than you have eve conducted.

Highly effective leaders and certainly a positude leader will have learned to embrace vital conversation to strengthen relationship even when coaching, mentoring or counseling an under performing staff member.

I deeply appreciate the human psychology and fears to critically address a shortcoming but failure to learn HOW to conduct a VITAL conversation will lead to stagnation in your career.

Gone are the days that you call someone into your office and go up one side and down the other side to address failures in the workplace. GREAT organizations will have a code of conduct, service excellence or work place imitation/violence policy that prohibits such behaviors. If your organization doesn’t have this in place, start working on one.

Back to the VITAL conversation….. inevitable you will experience moments/conduct that is less than desirable and in need of discussion. Instead of addressing this in front of others, start by creating a safe environment whereby a discussion can be held with the mindset to creating a WIN/WIN outcome based on principles of mutual respect, common bond and teachability.

After carefully selecting the right place to conduct such a conversation, start by using your deep listening skills….give your staff member some time to explain him or herself, ask appropriate questions to clarify situation and repeat back a summary of what you were told to ensure you are on the same page. Take your time asking/answering questions, you must get this right!

Next address the core issue directly, firmly but with respect outlining a desired behavior under similar circumstances. By remaining open minded and teachable yourself, you can start the process of healing and negotiating a WIN/WIN scenario.

Using the 80/20 rule, you will be able to create a WIN 80% of the time and see a changed behavior and improved engagement by the staff member. If it goes super well, your staff member will be able to reflect upon their own behaviors and show gratitude at some point in time for confronting the issue head-on.

Many of us become BLIND to our own bad behaviors and a structured VITAL conversation can bring positude back into the workplace and significantly strengthen your relationships.

It’s like exercising a muscle, if you don’t do it often enough, you will never get GREAT at it!

-W

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