Let’s say you need to deliver some critical feedback. How do you kick off the conversation?
Maybe you get straight to the point and rip off the band-aid. Just go straight for the jugular.
Alternatively, maybe you start with a simple question, “How are things going?” Your hope is that they bring up the issue and save you a mountain of worry. Obviously they know something is wrong, right?
Critical conversations can be awkward. There’s this giant elephant in the room, and it’s tough to find the right approach to talk about said elephant.
I’m just finishing up Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. The book provides a structure for having “fierce” conversations, which Scott describes as:
[A conversation] in which we come out from behind ourselves into the conversation and make it real.
In a more practical sense, fierce conversations are those in which we can truthfully attack an issue that’s probably difficult to acknowledge, have an honest conversation, come to a shared understanding, and set some kind of action plan to address the root issue moving forward.
Scott describes the perfect 60-second intro to a fierce conversation. Having flubbed my fair share, I found it to be a helpful template to avoid some of the awkwardness and get into the meat of the conversation.
Continue reading “A Step-by-Step Outline for Starting a Tough Conversation”
The story of Michael Eisner is a compelling one. It’s a story of a quick rise to become one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and a cautionary tale of how to remain humble.
Continue reading “A Checklist to Follow After Success”
My colleague over at Automattic, Simon, recently kicked off a discussion inspired by this talk by Janice Fraser at Mind the Product.
The talk expands on three key points related to work and life, but it was her final point that stuck out – “You Don’t Get Buy-in in a Single Meeting”.
Fraser mentions that she isn’t a fan of the phrase buy-in for several reasons.
- Nobody knows what it is.
- Everyone thinks they have it.
- Once we get it, we forget about keeping it.
She then introduces an acronym “UBAD,” which stands for understanding, belief, advocacy, and decision-making – the core components of getting everyone onboard with a direction/vision.
I’d encourage you to watch the entire video, but today, I wanted to share some thoughts around generating buy-in and overcoming the hurdles Fraser identified.
Continue reading “What Does “Buy In” Really Mean?”
Each year, I set aside an hour or two to reflect back on the previous year and look forward to everything I want to accomplish over the upcoming year. I’ve been doing this since 2015, and it’s been a helpful exercise to focus my energy heading into the new year.
This year has been pretty crazy. We had our first son; we spent several months off as a family on paternity/maternity leave; and I changed roles at Automattic. It was a fun ride!
A few Saturdays ago, over tacos and a delicious IPA, I took some time to reflect back over 2018 and set up an action plan for 2019.
(Previously: 2015, 2016, and 2017)
Continue reading “2018 Retrospective”