As leaders, we are frequently given the opportunity to have difficult conversations (even if we don’t like conflict). These conversations can be about work performance, office dynamics, interpersonal skills, or policy. I have recently been tapped to help lead a Christian congregation through the discernment process of whether to stay with their denomination or leave to be an independent religious organization. And I’m excited that as a leader I get to use my coaching and mediation skills to help this group of people identify what’s really important to them, even if the discussions go sideways or gets heated.
Regardless of what topic is on the roster, these discussions can be very emotionally charged. One of the ways coaching can help leaders is by providing a safe space to identify the underlying issues that are causing the problems and where things need to change. An uncomfortable office environment could be caused by an emotionally manipulative person. An employee might not have the skill set or drive to meet the goals of the organization. Someone may be forcing their agenda on others.
Coaching provides opportunities for people to identify the real issue and make a plan for how to move forward that respects the dignity of all parties involved.
What opportunities do I have to lead difficult conversations (or give voice to something I’ve been silent about for too long)?
In this situation, how can I treat myself and the other participants with dignity and respect?
Stay curious friends!