In the book Talk Inc. : How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organization it was interesting to note how the authors essentially synthesized this subject down to four keys attributes or requirements namely, intimacy, interactivity, inclusion and intentionality.
These don’t quite sound like the vernacular of leadership but when you consider in within the context of relationship it makes perfect sense. The reality is that business is simply a series of relationships that fuels the mission of the organization. Whether shareholders, leadership, employees, customers, vendors or even the local community, the lifeblood that holds all these stakeholders together and unified is relationships, and conversations are a pivotal component.
However what is also critical is the “appropriateness” of the conversation and there are three fundamental legs to this stool that compliment “what” is necessary but also recognizes “how” a conversation should manifest in the first place. This is dependent on the following:
1. Appropriate Person – is this individual the correct person to be having such a conversation with? Are they in a position of influence to act? Do they have the understanding, skills and knowledge?
2. Appropriate Time – timing is critical in all actions and this is no different with conversations. Is this the right time relative to emotional receptiveness or relative to your ability to convey?
3. Appropriate Manner – is this the right place or means for this conversation? What are you hoping to convey or what is your demeanor? Are you upset or worst still upset about something else?
This approach is intended to compliment the work of Groysberg and Slind, authors of Talk Inc so that it’s abundantly clear that it’s not just about what you convey in a conversation but also how you convey it.