3 Must-Have Managerial Dialogues to Engage & Develop Teams
A few hours every Sunday are spent with my ageing parents just to have conversations on myriad topics, sometimes related to happenings in their or my life or deliberating on the state of affairs in the country / world and other times having nostalgia creep in while reminiscing their or my early years. Irrespective of the topic of conversation, those few hours are cherished by me a great deal and I trust that my parents also look forward to the same. I see these conversations as a way to charge up one’s grey cells and livening up the emotional connect; after all isn’t it said that conversations cure? After such enriching and fulfilling conversations, I am glad that my parents are devoid of smart phones, social media and messaging applications, which ensures that all our conversations are in the good old, face to face format.
In her book, Reclaiming Conversation – the power of talk in a digital age, author Sherry Turkle argues that having seen the pros and cons of technology, “we have come to a better understanding of where our technology can and cannot take us and that the time is right to reclaim conversation. The most human – and humanizing – thing that we do.” She further adds “the virtues of person-to-person conversation are timeless, and our most basic technology – talk – responds to our modern challenges. We have everything that we need to start, we have each other.”
A few months ago in a related blog post Why Managers Need to Learn the Art of Conversations, we had deliberated on the benefits that managerial conversations accrue to the manager, his/her team as well as the organization. These conversations could be in terms of feedback, appreciation, difficult dialogues or goal setting and within each of these interactions, there is a possibility to engage the teams. Regular conversations by managers with their teams help in creating a conducive atmosphere that promotes dissent in terms of thoughts, without being labeled as a non-team-player. This point is brought in the John O’Leary’s Ted Talk that elucidates the importance of having conversations and a couple of techniques that aid such managerial conversations.
Element78 has been working extensively in the area of Dial-लोग through short / long term interventions to establish the ‘why’ for managerial conversations, followed by principles and techniques to have effective dialogues. A couple of months ago, Element78 had conducted one such workshop in Goa that not only helped participants learn an array of techniques, but also an awareness about themselves in terms of the potential they have to use conversations to engage and develop their teams. Broadly, there are 3 types of dialogues that any manager must engage in with his/her team members on a regular basis.
- Non-Purposive Dialogues, which lead to getting to know one’s team members better in terms of their vocational, avocational and personal interests. While these conversations don’t have an immediate transactional purpose (and hence called so), the real benefit is to know and engage the team member.
- Stay Conversations, (as against Exit Interviews) help in understanding the career aspirations, motivations, beliefs that the individual possesses and how these could be aligned with the development plans for the individual. These conversations not only are highly engaging for teams, but also help in charting out career growth plans.
- Performance Conversations include annual appraisals, monthly / quarterly reviews and even weekly reviews that are pegged around setting goals, reviewing performance. Performance management systems ensure that data around performance metrics are documented; however, the 1-on-1 conversations around these data points is the crux in ensuring good performance is applauded and slack performance is reviewed and re-calibrated from a skill / will situation. Performance conversations are of import to ensure development of team members, and if done effectively will also engage the team.
Element78’s research and experience of working on this area of managerial dialogues clearly points out that in the daily hustle-bustle of work, conversations are taking the brunt. On the one hand, there is a need to inculcate the awareness to indulge in these conversations, while on the other, managers need to practice the techniques to engage in conversations. Our flagship program Dial-लोग focuses on creating a culture of building meaningful managerial conversations that will build employee engagement, develop teams and build effective leaders.
- DOR – The Stories of Change - October 15, 2019
- Difficult Conversations : What Makes them Difficult? - September 18, 2019
- The Team Effectiveness Mantra - March 14, 2019
- 3 Must-Have Managerial Dialogues to Engage & Develop Teams - November 14, 2018
- Why Managers Need to Understand Team Diversity - October 4, 2018
- Why Managers Need to Learn the Art of Conversations - August 8, 2018
- 6 Things Managers Can Do to Drive Employee Engagement - July 30, 2018
- The Happiness of Pursuit - October 10, 2017