If there were one thing you could do that would improve the quality of your relationships, the unity of your team and the outcomes of your organization…this is it. Illust: Story of his encounter in 2009 with a young man who he’s mentored when he was 12 years old. - 10 years later he came looking for Joseph to find a way to turn his life around. - They created a plan and he began working on it. - Created a plan to get him a vehicle and better job. - October of that year our house was broken into…I didn’t immediately put 2+2 together. - November our house was broken into a second time…this time I had video of this young man breaking into our home. - December I saw him in our neighborhood and I said, “Hey Patrick, I just want to talk.” - We went to our house and sat down in my house to talk.
30 years ago, in beginning our research we asked the question,
“Are there critical moments of disproportionate influence in our leadership?
Moments where how someone behaves has an enormous effect on the outcomes?
These are EMOTIONALLY COMPLEX moments.
CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS 1. Opposing Opinions 2. Strong Emotions 3. High Stakes
Think of a name of somebody about whom you’ve drawn a negative conclusion.
There is nothing wrong with the reality of having challenges with people.
What matters is how you communicate in the face of that challenge.
Big Idea #1 The Principle of the Crucial Conversation.
“What crucial conversation are we not holding or holding well?”
The best way to lower the number of crucial conversations is to live a meaningless life. (jk)
A conversation can go from CASUAL to CRUCIAL in 4 seconds.
The irony is that when it matters most, you and I tend to do our worst.
Action: Think of a crucial conversation, and share one example of how you’re behaving.
The principle is that there will always be crucial conversations, and our action is to CONFRONT them.
You only have two options where there are crucial conversations: 1. TALK it out. 2. ACT it out.
Examples of crucial conversations in faith communities…
- A staff member is TOO OLD to continue in position.
- Top givers use their giving to MANIPULATE DECISIONS.
- Leadership decided to CLOSE the daycare center and LAYOFF STAFF.
- A board member says, “I’m NOT GIVING at all."
At 3-4yrs old we begin to believe a myth… “We often believe that you often have to choose between telling the truth or keeping a friend.”
You can measure the health of a team by counting the number of un-discusables.
Your job as a leader is to measure, coach, and number the issues that impact the health of your organization.
Top Crucial Conversations within Churches 1. Performance problems with volunteers or staff. 2. Member who are struggling in sin or disconnecting from the church. 3. Concerns with pastors.
If these things can’t be talked about bad things happen.
Crucial conversations are either a PIT or a PATH. - A PIT that keeps us mired in a lack of progress. - A PATH that moves us forward towards goal achievement.
Those churches in the top quartile of addressing these concerns were: - 73% better in new member growth. - 58% better in spiritual growth. - 65% better in staff strength - 100% better in financial health - 55% better in effectiveness in ministry
Challenge: Focus on addressing and using crucial conversations as a path to mission achievement.
The vital behavior that enables most any positive organization outcome is CANDOR at moments of acute emotional and political risk. Seven Crucial Skills 1. Start with the Heart 2. Learn to Look 3. Make it Safe 4. Master My Story 5. State My Path 6. Explore Others’ Path 7. Move to Action
Ingredients of Safety
MUTUAL PURPOSE - Help them know that you care care about their goals as much as you do yours.
MUTUAL RESPECT - Create a condition of safety called “mutual respect”…”You know I care about you as a human being."
- 97% chance you’ll be heard if you do these two things.
Candor is never the problem.
People never become defensive about WHAT you’re saying.
People become defensive because of WHY they think you’re saying it.