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Stop Having the “Wrong Conversations” in Your Workplace Communication

I was 28 years old when I had one of the most important “wrong conversations” in my life.

Of course, there have been thousands of “wrong conversations” in my life, just like you’ve had thousands.

A new owner had purchased the professional baseball team I was serving as general manager for in mid-season.

One night, early in his ownership, we were in the midst of a rain delay. It was the sixth inning, our team was losing 4-2.

Standing with my new boss watching the rain fill the canvas tarp covering the playing surface he said to me…

“You know, next year, we can’t have any of these!”

“You mean, losing,” I said referring to the scoreboard.

“No, rainouts,” he countered.

I shook my head and walked away without a rebuttal to his ludicrous comment.

He was my new boss and I didn’t want to confront the issue no matter how wrong he was.

I began planning my resignation at the end of the season. I knew I couldn’t work for someone who was going to expect me to play God.

This month is the one-year anniversary since I created the concept around The 4 Workplace Conversations.

Of the four, the worst and most damaging is “the wrong conversation with the right person.”

The “right person” obviously is the person with whom you need to speak with to get what you want or need.

When we’re in front of them (the right person) we usually know it because we’ve invested a lot of time and energy to get the appointment.

These conversations come in two primary contexts:

  • The hijacked conversation.
  • The avoided conversation.

It’s not hard to recognize these conversations. They occur all around us.

We’re involved in these every day and we enable these conversations to perpetuate.

We need to learn how to turn these around and begin having “the right conversation with the right person.”

We need to take control of hijacked conversations if we want to be seen as credible in our organizations and with our clients.

We need to step up to discuss what many organizational leaders feel are the undiscussable conversations.

I’d love to hear from you about your experience with “the wrong conversations with the right person.”

Please, leave a comment here below and join my discussion, thanks!

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

There are 2 comments. Add yours.

  1. Peggy Wehrman

    This reminds me of the lesson of acquiring (and using) the skill of recognizing the moment needs to be seized and to seize it.
    Recently, I was in front of a high-powered executive in charge of a large company. I wanted a position with that company in growing the healthcare side of the company and I knew that the executive was desirous of a leader in that arena. I got the appointment, I allowed the appropriate amount of ice-breaking and then “drove” the conversation so that when I walked away from it, I would know that I met my goal in the appointment. The result may not work out to be my desired result but at least I addressed the goal. I established that before arriving to the appointment. Without the appointment, the goal, and the seizing of the moment, you are wasting time…which is limited.

    • Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert

      Thank you for sharing. Great approach to your situation.
      A great point you raise that I always talk about in my full presentation on this topic is that having the “right conversation with the right person” doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get the outcome you desire. It just means you at least have the chance to. If you allow the conversation with the right person to devolve into the “wrong conversation” for you, there is no chance of achieving the desire outcome.
      In baseball, when you step to the plate you have to swing the bat if you want a chance to get a hit, get on base and score!
      Thanks for adding to the discussion here, please come back again!

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