Any synchronous or asynchronous engagement with team members may turn into a crucial conversation. At GitLab, we can develop the skills of sensing the tone of an async or sync conversation to uncover potential pain-points, risks, blockers, etc for team members. We need to find a way to create psychological safety for our people. Using a 1-1 can be a great way to gain context on a situation a team member is facing and hold a crucial conversation.
What is a Crucial Conversation: According to the book, a conversation to be crucial is that the results of it could have a huge impact on the quality of your life. A conversation involving a promotion, performance, debate between coworkers, etc. In short crucial conversations are discussions between two or more people where:
Most of us are good at avoiding them because it's human nature to avoid pain and discomfort when addressing a crucial conversation. So what do you do when faced with a crucial conversation?
At GitLab, there can be many instances where a crucial conversation is needed. Whether it is addressing the underperformance of a team member, discussing the results of promotion, interviewing, being notified that a high performer is leaving the team, etc. The Crucial Conversations book has strategies laid out that can help master one:
The ability to influence is an essential leadership skill. To influence is to have an impact on the behaviors, attitudes, opinions and choices of your team members and others across GitLab and externally. Influence should not be confused with power or control. It is also not about manipulating others to get your own way. It is about noticing what motivates team members commitment and using that knowledge to leverage performance and results.
Leadership has sometimes been described as the ability to influence others. An effective leader does not move team members into action by coercion. An effective leaders will articulate the overall vision and goals for the organization. By doing such this can motivate and move team members to action by tapping into their desires and need for success. Positive influence that is properly channeled can also bring about transformation and change for team members, department, division and the company. A leader that exhibits and exerts positive influence in others will build trust and become a true driving force towards transparency, iteration, collaboration and results.
There are many different influencing strategies and in this section we are going to review 9 that leaders can review. Each strategy below will include a definition, example and ways for leaders to develop this strategy.
Below are additional resources on influencing and leadership for you to review.