Having a productive conversation is at the heart of good leadership. There’s a relatively new book out that is a terrific primer for a good heart-to-heart. It’s called Fierce Conversations and is written by Susan Scott.
She serves up some great questions for discussions with colleagues and direct reports:
- What has become clear since last we met?
- What is the area that, if you made an improvement, would give you and others the greatest return on time, energy, and dollars invested?
- What is currently impossible to do that, if it were possible, would change everything?
- What are you trying to make happen in the next three months?
- What’s the most important decision you’re facing? What’s keeping you from making it?
- What topic are you hoping I won’t bring up?
- What area under your responsibility are you most satisfied with? Least satisfied with?
- What part of your responsibilities are you avoiding right now?
- Who are your strongest employees? What are you doing to ensure that they’re happy and motivated?
- Who are your weakest employees? What is your plan for them?