Category Archives: Performance

How to prepare for a vital conversation

A vital conversation is an important conversation where you discuss key issues. It can also be a difficult or challenging conversation. No matter how well you plan for a vital conversation the other person can say something that throws you off balance. The ability to regain your composure in such conversations and get back on track is crucial. Following are two actions that can help you prepare for a vital conversation.

17 - How to prepare for a vital conversation

The three conversations in a difficult conversation

Difficult conversations are conversations we find challenging and that’s because every difficult conversation is not just one conversation. Rather, every difficult conversations has three components. Read about those three components below. It will help you think about difficult conversations differently.

29 - The three conversations in a difficult conversation

How to have a coaching conversation

Vital conversations are conversations where you discuss things that matter. For managers, their vital conversations are mostly difficult or challenging conversations. Before having these types of conversations it is important to prepare yourself. Here are two important steps you can take to prepare yourself for a vital conversation.

17 - How to prepare for a vital conversation

Coaching questions for starting your one-to-ones

Having consistent one-to-ones with team members is a brilliant habit for managers. But having one-to-ones is not enough, they must be meaningful and beneficial to both the manager and team member. Here are three coaching questions that managers can use to start their one-to-ones in an engaging way.

9 - Coaching questions for starting your one-to-ones

Signs you are not focused on your people

Effective leadership happens when people are focused on their team members and not just problems. When managers are focused on their people, they give better feedback and are able to motivate and encourage their team members. Here are five signs to look out for when managers are not focused on their people.

6 - Signs you are not focused on your people

Book Focus – Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most

If you want to learn more about how to handle difficult conversations then you can’t go wrong with Difficult Conversations: How To Handle What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen. In this book you will learn about what difficult conversations are, what makes conversations difficult and how to handle difficult conversations by creating a learning conversation. This is not a simple book to read because it contains a lot of content (311 pages) but that does not diminish the quality of the content in the book. It is one of those books that you read through once and keep revisiting to reinforce the concepts taught in the book.

I have summarised one lesson from the book which identifies what makes conversations difficult.


How can this resource work with a virtual training session? You can use it to facilitate a blended bite-sized virtual session of 30-minutes or less.

To do this:

  • Send the summary poster to the delegates at least a week before the virtual session and tell them to read it befoe coming to the session.
  • Invite them to a 30-minute session on a platform such as Zoom or Teams.
  • During the session, split the delegates into small groups and tell them to discuss what they read in the summary.
  • After the group discussion ask each small group for feedback on what they discussed.
  • When they finish giving feedback, appreciate them for having the discussion.
  • Next, ask them a personal reflection question to identify how knowledge of the three conversations can help them better handle difficult conversations.
  • Allow people to answer either verabally or through the chat window and make sure you get a response from everyone.
  • After that, thank them and end the session.

As simple as that, resources like this can get a good virtual discussion going.

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