I doubt that you’re a fan of racism and I strongly doubt that you’re a fan in any way of the Nazi philosophy. So, imagine that you’re sitting in a cafe waiting for your appointment to arrive, and in walks a young guy with a shaved head with a large swastika tattooed on the side of it. He sits at the table next to you- clearly he’s waiting for someone to turn up also. So, you’re both sitting there next to each other, and if you’re not at all a fan of the Nazi philosophy, then would you embark on a courageous conversation with this individual? And if you would, what would you say?
That was a situation that I found myself in in an out of town gym one evening that’s recounted in my book “The Art of Persuasive Influence”. I was sitting on a weights machine and in walked the guy I have just described, complete with shaved head and the swastika tattoo. So I’m thinking to myself- “Will I, or won’t I? Should I, or shouldn’t I?” And despite hearing my wife’s voice inside my head strongly suggesting that I mind my own business, I found myself walking over to this young guy to have a “chat” about his philosophy.
How did I conduct the conversation, particularly given the fact that he was obviously accompanied by his 2IC- you could see a very clear leader/follower relationship in their body language which might make the conversation even more challenging? How did I conduct the conversation to the point where, despite needing to maintain his ego with his 2IC present, he was open to me giving him career, relationship, and even parenting advice? This is all covered in my Courageous Conversations’ presentation!
Having worked in various roles of developing leaders over the last 30 years and for the last 13 years working specifically with team leaders, the number one pain-point that I have seen consistently has been a lack of confidence and competence in terms of conducting difficult conversations. It’s been such an area of need, and many businesses have failed to adequately equip their people, that I wrote a book solely dedicated to the subject- it’s called “Navigating Courageous Conversations! A Roadmap for Addressing Tough Topics (and People!)”. I’ve presented courageous conversations material to multiple industries and professions from manufacturing to mining, traffic management to software management with content such as:
- Understanding the current relational account balance in order to conduct an effective courageous conversation
- Above or Below the Line attitudes- the litmus test to assess whether the recipient is on board or not
- The “Y” Conversations© Model which helps to determine the tone for the too timid and the too tough
- The BISCuit© Model because it’s useless navigating to a destination when you don’t have any kind of a roadmap
- And what too few people know about what trust is and how to build it
As with all of my presentations I customize this “Courageous Conversations” presentation to the specific industry or professional realm that I’m speaking to. I do this by initially consulting the client to understand the needs of the audience. I then solicit both the names of senior leaders and those closer to the front line to conduct interviews to ascertain pain points and specific challenges. This provides invaluable information for me to customize my presentation specifically to the audience in question and in doing so I’ll make at least 25 references specifically to their world in any 60 minute presentation.
And one thing I can guarantee with all of my presentations that no coroner will ever provide a ruling of “Death by PowerPoint!” I have my audiences laughing, on their feet, interacting with each other, and have audience members on stage with me doing live demonstrations! And all of this mixed in with thought-provoking, and riveting stories that keep the audience engaged the entire time!
“Navigating Courageous Conversations!” is available as a presentation, and also as a workshop from (3 hours to 3 days). Contact me now to talk further!