Crucial Conversations - Sep 2011


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Elizabeth Alo is a Managing Partner of Vitalwork, a 22-year old local consulting company that specializes in organizational and workforce development. Elizabeth has a penchant for the link between desired business results and the corresponding quality of interactions among senior leaders, managers in the middle and customer-facing front-line employees. For eight years she has consulted with leaders in supporting themselves and employees to take on new ways of thinking and acting in times of change that optimize personal and group power, influence, and, most importantly, results. These measurable changes in behaviors are foundational to the achievement of goals and strategic objectives within the companies Elizabeth has consulted and facilitated developmental workshops.

Come hear Elizabeth as she speaks on the importance of handling Crucial Conversations well as a vital step in executing successful strategies and projects.

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Crucial Conversations - Sep 2011

  1. 1. Crucial Conversations Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Alo September 14, 2011© International Institute of Business Analysis™
  2. 2. WELCOME§  Board Introductions§  Upcoming Events §  October 5th - Daniel Gallagher “Enterprise Analysis: Making the Business Case” §  November – Study Group Begins! §  Survey – Wants/Needs!§  News§  ( / 2
  3. 3. We Need Your Help!§  Interested in Volunteering? §  Programs Committee – Pick up food for events §  Communications Committee – Send out Blasts! §  Contributing to a Newsletter § Ideas/Volunteers for Programs 3
  4. 4. Critical Business Analyst Competency Elizabeth Alo Managing Partner – Vitalwork, Inc. © 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Introduction to Vitalwork We are a Learning and Development firm based in Rochester, NY that has been working for over 22 years in the Change Management arena with organizations that are in transition.5© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Chief Engagement Officer •  Facilitating conversations where business and technology requirements are gathered, vetted, tested, debated, prioritized, fallen on the sword for… •  …is no small potatoes •  As the Chief Engagement Officer, –  What are you doing? –  Who are you being?6© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Engagement Resistant Compliant Engaged •  Bad •  Whatever •  Great •  Don’t agree •  Wait and see •  On board •  Nothing in it •  Neutral •  Something in it for me, the •  Need for me, the team, or the team, or the company company7 •  Duty •  Choice© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. “Conversations” are Your Tools •  Each of us conducts our work inside a web of “conversations” •  When there are “signs” that certain conversations are not welcome or safe, discretionary effort, initiative, and engagement plummet. •  When people feel at odds or not communicating openly with each other, the “shut down” is on. Compliance replaces creativity, passion and initiative. •  Your job gets even harder8© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. The Real Problem •  The problem is not that these breakdowns exist at all, or that they are even commonplace. •  In fact, these problems are inevitable in any business scenario •  The real problem is that those who see these problems don’t effectively confront and resolve them, to successfully conduct the “right” conversation because they don’t know how. •  What would you like to improve?9© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Three Elements of a Crucial Conversation Crucial Conversations High Stakes10© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Definition of Dialogue Free flow of clear meaning between two or more parties in an environment of mutual purpose and mutual respect.11© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Goals of Dialogue •  Advance an issue towards resolution •  Learn about the other party’s perspective •  Enhance the working relationship by building trust12© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Eight Principles •  Get unstuck •  Start with heart Conditions •  Learn to look •  Make it safe •  Master my stories Skills •  STATE my path •  Explore others’ paths •  Move to action Implementation13© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. 1. Get Unstuck How to spot conversations that are keeping you from what you want •  Anytime you find yourself stuck, there are crucial conversations keeping you there –  “Stuck” is the same as “not getting the results you want” –  Where are you stuck? •  Backtrack from poor results to determine the specific crucial conversation that applies14© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Specific Crucial Conversations Types •  Content –  A one time incident •  Pattern –  Several occurrences of the same incident •  Relationship –  When the pattern begins to raise questions in your mind about trust and/or intention15© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. 2. Start with Heart How to stay focused on what you really want •  Work on me first –  Change in heart - admit that you’re the person to initiate this conversation and know that there really is nothing wrong, just something not working. •  Focus on what you really want –  For yourself, for others and for the relationship. Behave as if you really do. •  Refuse the Sucker’s Choice –  Move from “or” to “and” thinking. •  “I wonder how I can achieve______ AND avoid _____?”16© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. 3. Learn to Look How to notice when safety is at risk •  For when a conversation turns crucial –  Physical, emotional and behavioral signs •  For signs that safety is at risk –  Silence: Masking, Avoiding, Withdrawing –  Violence: Controlling, Labeling, Attacking •  For your own style under stress17© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. 4. Make It Safe How to make it safe to talk about almost anything •  When safety is missing, it is futile to continue talking about the content at hand •  Step out of the content and restore safety •  Restore safety: –  Apologize – when appropriate “I am sorry if this is upsetting to you.” –  Contrast – Don’t/Do statement that avoids misunderstanding and clarifies intention –  Create Mutual Purpose – move to a higher and longer term goal that satisfy both parties “We are in this together.”18© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. 5. Master My Stories How to stay in dialogue when you are angry, scared or hurt •  Separate facts from stories –  See/Hear – Tell a story – Feel – Act •  Watch for three clever stories –  Victim: It is not my fault –  Villain: It’s all your fault –  Helpless: There is nothing else that I can do •  Tell the rest of the story –  Victim: “What is my role in the problem?” –  Villain: “Why would a reasonable, rational, decent person do this?” –  Helpless: “What should I do right now to move toward19 what I want?”© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. 6. STATE My Path How to speak persuasively not abrasively S = share your facts T = tell your story What A = ask for others’ path T = talk tentatively E = encourage testing How20© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. 7. Explore Others’ Paths How to listen when others’ blow up or clam up •  Ask to get things rolling •  Mirror to confirm feelings •  Paraphrase to acknowledge their story •  Prime when you’re getting nowhere21© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. 8. Move to Action How to turn Crucial Conversations into action and results •  Agree on who will do what, by when, and what follow-up action will be taken. Then follow up.22© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Questions Crucial Conversations The power of your people to change your business one conversation at a time. For additional questions contact Elizabeth Alo (585) 425-0301 ext. 2123© 2006 Vitalwork Inc. All rights reserved.