May 2014: Have conversations that matter.

Time is precious.  As a leader, you know that better than anyone.  So make your conversations count with substance and integrity. 

It’s easy to put off awkward conversations or squander opportunities like staff meetings and one-on-one interactions, engaging in more superficial chat instead.  But with every interaction that fails to matter, you’re wasting invaluable time and a chance to create more productive, effective relationships.

What big, honking conversations are hanging out there, waiting to be had? Is there something that needs to be said to your boss, peer or direct report?  Are there things you wish you knew or understood about someone? Are you craving greater clarity about your role? Do you see some things that need to be addressed in your organization? Are there performance issues you’re avoiding?   

It’s often easier not to have the conversation.  But when people see that you’re willing to put the real stuff on the table and that you care enough to engage in substantive (sometimes awkward) subjects in an effective way, you build trust.

Today, ask yourself, “how can I have more conversations that matter?”