Communication is such a large part of life, and yet we rarely train ourselves to achieve the best out of communication.
We attend courses to learn how to do strategy, project manage and apply six sigma approaches. We read HBR and BRW, and a range of popular fiction. We might learn woodworking, French or Ancient Asian History. We have coaches and trainers – for business success, stress management, physical fitness, or life goals.
BUT how often do we focus on communication skills?
I have been a fan of Kerry Patterson’s book Crucial Conversations for a long time. It presents a sure fire way to hold those conversations in work and life where the outcome is important; how to ensure both sides come away feeling good and motivated.
He has recently released another book, Crucial Confrontations, which explores ways to mindfully confront real issues in the work place and at home. Confrontations are usually triggered by broken promises – “you said that you would do that, and you didn’t. I was relying on you.” The book assists us to discuss the issues with staff, partners, friends or children using techniques that, again, avoid anger and recriminations yet ensures open and frank discussions.
Top performers do not avoid difficult conversations. They build performance through their ability to tackle issues as they arise.