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  • Ivan Konermann

Having Healthy Conversations at work



How often does your team productively discuss issues so people walk away satisfied with the result and how the team got there? This is the first in a three-part series on healthy conversations in the workplace.

To begin, make sure the team knows what kind of discussion is expected. Is the team getting & clarifying information, making a decision, evolving or brainstorming ideas, or something else? Many meetings wander from one type of conversation to the next which can lead to confusion. Or the manager or project leader knows and thinks it's obvious to everyone…only it isn’t.

I felt the sting of this myself years ago when my team was asked what we thought of a new website. After candidly sharing what parts worked, which didn’t, and why, my manager’s manager made it clear that this was the direction we were going in, and she didn’t want to hear any more about it since the company had paid a lot for this new website. I realized I had made an assumption when I could have asked a question, and was pretty disappointed in my contribution to the situation, and how my managers’ handled it.

We want to help teams be clearer with what they are doing, so they create better outcomes and stronger relationships.

The costs of these meetings are very real, and we’ll get into those in Part 2.

In Part 3, we’ll go into some ways to have better meetings and create healthy debates so teams come away happy with the process and the results.

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