Do You Know How to Start and End a Conversation?

I am in the process of reading/reviewing Jodi Glickman’s book Great On The Job – What To Say, How To Say It – The Secrets of Getting Ahead.  As I go through it I will share some thoughts that make me go Hmmmm . . .  This posting is based on one of those moments.

I watch the eyes, because they always tell the truth. 

Have you ever experienced the glazed, lifeless stare that happens within 10 seconds of starting a conversation with someone?  It is most often the result of them being in the middle of something and me being too urgent to simply ask “Is this a good time?”

Jodi Glickman shares her secrets to opening and closing a conversation under a section she refers to as The Basics.  How to avoid the lifeless stare is addressed up front.  It made me chuckle when she talked about the feedback she received initially from two trusted friends that this section was too basic.  I loved it!  When I talk to people about talent management I stress the partnership between a leader and a follower, and the transparency that has to exist for the relationship to work.  Being specific about What I need is critical, and recognizing that this is not the right time to talk is equally as critical.  In the era of open office doors/no doors at all and cell phones that make everyone accessible 24/7, it is important to be able to say not the right time.

One of the unique pieces of her approach was the ending.  In it she shares two steps:

  1. Thank you
  2. Forward momentum

 

I love the concept of forward momentum.  Think of it – we have talked and here is where I am going next.  Imagine if every interaction led to some sort of forward momentum?  In talent management: forward momentum = ownership = engagement = great followership

An exercise: What percent of your conversations today lead to forward momentum?

 

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