Awkward Workplace Conversations

Thank you to those of you who contacted me because you had seen my contribution to James Adonis’ article on awkward conversations in the workplace (which you can read here.).

It is my strong view that many, if not most awkward conversations in the workplace are made significantly easier if agreed behaviours have been created (and kept alive) throughout a team’s journey. It really does make discussing inappropriate behaviour so much easier because you have your agreed behaviours to which you can refer.

An important point to note is that often we have to experience our agreed behaviours before everyone really does establish a shared meaning for them. As an example some teams that I have worked with have included ‘having fun’ as one of their behaviours. Clearly this can be open to a lot of interpretation. What is fun for some, may not be for others!

This means that you have to experience your agreed behaviours and every once in a while, say once a month, discuss explicit examples of your agreed behaviours in action, including behaviours that you aren’t sure if they fit the intention of your behaviours. These ‘Conversations That Matter®’ don’t have to be long. They can be around 10 minutes which is a small amount of time given the benefits to a team of being on the same page from a behavioural perspective.

Please give the concept a go and share your examples and challenges with our community.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
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