Clark Quinn reminds us that “Conversations are the
engine of business.” Let’s cut that even finer. Conversations are the engine
of bossly success. Here’s why.
If you have good, human relationships with your people, you will have to work
hard to screw up as a boss. The easiest and most common way to help
relationships grow and thrive is through conversations.
Some ground rules first. We’re talking about human relationships between
adults. And we’re discussing conversations, not simply talking.
If you have frequent conversations with your people, there’s almost no way to
avoid having a relationship with them. On the other hand if you simply treat
people as receiving devices for your instructions, you will create the same kind
of relationship that you have with your car.
Real conversations are the way you get to know the other person and that
person gets to know you. Understanding goes up, misimpressions go down.
So what’s a conversation? In a conversation, each person gets to speak while
the other listens. Listening does not mean nodding while you think of what key
wisdom to impart next. A conversation is not simply you telling someone what to
do and asking if they understand. In a conversation what everyone says matters.
Don’t worry about what you should talk about. You almost surely have
something in common with everyone on your team. Start by talking about that.
Boss’s Bottom Line
Here’s the sequence. Show up a lot. Have conversations. Relationships will
develop and the odds for success will improve.