Welcome to Fierce Conversations. When you think of a fierce conversation, think passion, integrity, authenticity, collaboration. Think cultural transformation. Think leadership. Your Ticket in the Door: Go Round.
Welcome to Fierce Conversations • When you think of a fierce conversation, think passion, integrity, authenticity, collaboration. • Think cultural transformation. • Think leadership.
Your Ticket in the Door: Go Round • How might the right conversation help a school leader transform the culture of a school?
Today’s Outcomes • What gets talked about in your school and how it gets talked about determines what will happen. At the end of the day, you will be familiar with four conversational models: • Team conversations • Coaching conversations • Delegation conversations • Confrontation conversations
Team Conversations • Engage teams in frictionless debates that interrogate multiple, often competing realities, resulting in the best decisions for the school, enthusiastically implemented.
Coaching Conversations • Engage individuals in conversations that increase clarity, improve understanding and provide impetus for change – resulting in professional development, a bias for action and accelerated results.
Delegation Conversations • Clarify responsibilities and raise accountability, ensuring that each employee has a clear path of development, action plans are implemented, goals are achieved, and leaders are free to take on more complex responsibilities.
Confrontation Conversations • Engage individuals and teams in conversations which confront and resolve attitudinal, performance or behavioral issues, while also enriching relationships.
Definition and the Objectives • A Fierce Conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into the conversation and make it real. • Interrogate reality: ask the questions • Provoke learning: connections, the next level • Tackle tough challenges: have it today!, most put it off or don’t have it • Enrich relationships: how to do this while doing all of the above
How do you know when you are having a Fierce Conversation? You are: • Speaking in your real voice • Speaking to the heart of the matter • Really asking and listening • Generating heat • Enriching a relationship • Different when the conversation is over
Remember…. • No remark is trivial. And now….to the 3 transformational ideas.
Idea Number 1 • Our careers, our schools, our personal relationships, and our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time. • Take “but” out of the conversations and replace with “and.” • Missing conversations are the worst.
“Mokita” • -that which everyone knows and no one speaks of. The Papuans of New Guineas judge the health of any community by the number of “mokitas” that exist within it.
Names and Numbers of Mokitas Work • ___________ • ___________ • ___________ • ___________ How much does each Mokita cost your school, your family, you? Personal/Family • ___________ • ___________ • ___________ • ___________ The rule: name our Mokitas; no repercussions.
One more thought… • While no conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a school, a relationship, or a life – any conversation can.
Idea Number 2 • The conversation is the relationship. • Quality conversation = quality relationship • No conversation = no relationship • Leadership is defined as your capacity to connect with people • The most valuable currency any of us has is not money. Nor is it intelligence, attractiveness, self-sufficiency or charisma. It is relationship. It is emotional capital.
Idea Number 3 • All conversations are with myself, and sometimes they involve other people. • Attitudes, beliefs, opinions, truths are our filters • We want to be understood, not interpreted. • We let in the truth we want.
Seven Principles • Master the courage to interrogate reality. • Come out from behind yourself, into the conversations, and make it real. • Be here, prepared to be nowhere else. • Tackle your toughest challenge today. • Obey your instincts. • Take responsibility for your emotional wake. • Let silence do the heavy lifting.
Reflection • Which principle will you focus on for the next 30 days? • Is your context working for you? • Transforming behavior from X to Y. • Your “apostrophe.”
Team Conversations • Questions for team clarity • Questions for breakthrough conversations • Beach ball reality • Issue preparation form • The conversation • During the conversation • Your apostrophe
Questions for Team Clarity • Where are we going? • Why are we going there? • Who is going with us? • How are we going to get there? • If nothing changes, what are the implications? Would everyone on your team answer these questions the same way? How would you answer them?
Questions for Breakthrough Conversations • What values do we stand for, and are there gaps between these values and how we actually behave? • What are the skills and talents of our school and are there gaps between those resources and what market demands? • What opportunities does the future hold, and are there gaps between those opportunities and our ability to capitalize on them? • What is impossible for us do that, if it were possible, would change everything? • What are we pretending not to know?
Beach Ball Reality • Does each team member feel free to express his or thoughts and emotions? • Does each team members feel free to interrogate another team member’s view of reality? • Does each team member engage other team members openly, without being defensive, when his/her view of reality is being interrogated? • Does each team member strive to describe reality without laying blame? • Do your team conversations always get to ground truths? Think QBQ: the question behind the question.
Having a Beach Ball Conversation • A beach ball conversation is essential when you have: • A high stakes decision to make • A strategy to design • An opportunity to evaluate • A problem to solve
Next… • Select a significant or recurring problem you wish to solve: • The problem is: • I will invite to this conversation: (who is doing the impacting, who is compacted, resisters, people who are credible, experts) • Prior to this conversation, I will send out: (what will others need to review?) • In the invitation, let everyone know: • The problem to be discussed. • Its significance. • Your desire to understand their perspectives about how to solve it.
Issue Preparation Form • The issue is: • It’s significant because: • My ideal outcome is: • Relevant background information: • What I have done up to this point: • Options I am considering: • The help I want from the group is:
A Few Hints… • Walk through first, then give to the team. • Be honest. • Don’t use “but” or “however.” • Hear from everyone.” • Use a beach ball if you like. • Say something like: • “We’re here to solve the problem of…My goal is to make the best possible decision.” • “My view is based on my position on the beach ball.” • “Push back on anything I say that doesn’t match your view of reality. That’s how you add value to this conversation.”
After the Conversation… • Ask each team member to write down a concise answer to this question: “What would you do if you were in my shoes?” • Have each person read his/her advice. Do not respond; only say “thank you.” • Then ask, “Did I miss anything essential?” • Thank them, tell them what action you are prepared to take, and when you will take it. • Ask them to sign their recommendations in case you want to follow up. • Get back to them once you have made the decision or take action and let them know the results and/or next steps.
Practice: Team Conversation • Individually complete the Issue Preparation Form • One whole group conversation • Pair with a colleague • Reflect
Reflection and Apostrophe • How might a team conversation improve your results, the results of your team, and the results of the whole school? • How might you use a team conversation in the future? • Your apostrophe?
Coaching Conversations • The “to do” list • SMART + HEART • Coaching questions • Mineral rights model: mining for greater clarity, improved understanding, and impetus for change • Reflection and apostrophe
A Thought • A careful conversation is a failed conversation because it merely postpones the conversation that wants and needs to take place.
The “to do” List • In addition to achieving significant student achievement results, you have been asked to: • Lead change • Build collaborative community partnerships • Delegate effectively • Manage a budget • Make the best decisions for the school • Present and influence • Manage complex issues and responsibilities
So….? • Take a deep breath. • Fierce believes the answers are in the room. • You’ve got plenty of “smarts” to pull it off.
SMART + HEART • Human beings make decisions first for emotional reasons, second for rational reasons. • Coaching produces disappointing results because, though our heads are engaged, we checked our emotions at the door. There is no fuel for the lit match to ignite. • Great leaders, great coaches, great colleagues engineer epiphanies by engaging people’s heads and hearts. • IQ and EQ
Coaching Questions: Fuel for the Conversations • What is the most important decision you are facing? What is keeping you from making it? • What topic are you hoping I don’t bring up? • What part of your responsibilities are you avoiding right now? • What conversation are you avoiding right now? • What do you wish you had more time to do?
More Coaching Questions • What things are you doing that you would like to stop doing and/or delegate to someone else? • What threatens your peace? What threatens your school? Your personal health? Your fulfillment? Reminder: “Giving half answers won’t make the conversation half as long.”
Mineral Rights Model • Seven steps: • Identify the issue • Clarify the issue • Determine current impact • Determine future implications • Examine personal contribution to the issue • Describe the ideal outcome • Commit to action
Step 1 • Name the issue • The issue I most need to resolve is …
Step 2 • Clarify the issue • What is going on? • How long has this been going on? • How bad are things?
Step 3 • Determine the current impact • How is this issue currently impacting me? • What results is this situation currently producing for me? • How is this issue currently impacting others? • What results is this situation currently producing for them? • When I consider the impact on myself and others, what are my emotions?
Step 4 • Determine the future implications • If nothing changes, what’s likely to happen? • What’s at stake for me to lose or gain relative to this issue? • What’s at stake for others to lose or gain? • When I consider these possible outcomes, what do I feel?
Step 5 • Examine your personal contribution to this issue • How have I contributed to the problem?
Step 6 • Describe the ideal outcome • When this issue is resolved, what difference will this make? • What results will I enjoy? • What results will others enjoy? • When I imagine these results, what are my emotions?
Step 7 • Commit to action • What is the most potent step I could take to move this issue toward resolution? • What’s going to attempt to get in my way, and how will I get past it? • When will I take this step?
Reminders • Steps 1-6, ask questions 80% of the time • Tone is important • Step 1: leave out if they come to you • Step 2: make an emotional connection • Step 3: leave out and you’ll never get to action; people will connect their emotions here • Step 4 creates urgency • Step 5 wakes up their brain • Step 6: watch for fears; don’t let become real • Step 7: if there is no follow-up, actions become extinct
More Reminders • Slow the conversation down so it can find out what it wants and needs to be about. • Inquire about emotions. Fierce Conversations are both intellectually convincing and emotionally compelling. • Let silence do the heavy lifting.
A Thought on Drilling • If you are drilling for water, it is better to drill one, hundred-foot well than one hundred, one foot wells.
One More Thought on Conversations • “No one has to change and everyone has to have the conversation. When the conversation is real, the change occurs before the conversation has ended.” • David Whyte
Practice: Coaching Conversation • Individually complete the Coaching Conversation Steps • One whole group conversation • Pair with a colleague • Reflect
Reflection and Apostrophe • How might coaching conversations help to improve your results, the results of your team, and the results of your school? • How might you use coaching conversations in the future? • Your apostrophe?