Did you know that you get to structure and build every conversation that you have?
You don’t need to rely on pre-existing experiences with a person or a group. You get to step up and say, “Hey everyone! I’m glad we’re here — in this moment — to see what we can create together. Before we begin, do you mind if we check-in and frame this conversation?”
Ask what the other people in the conversation need and decide if you agree or need to negotiate more. Make a new agreement — for the moment that you are in now. When the conversation starts to get de-railed or if you begin to feel disconnected from it, pause it and check-in. Do you need to reconnect, or do you need to negotiate something?
Backing up from here a bit, you even get to decide how you are going to step into the conversation before it begins. Before you walk into the conference room, before you walk through the next door, or in another space… and it’s not even so much “how” you are going to step in, it might be more “who” steps into the conversation. Are you stepping in as your true leader or as another effective team member? At home, are you showing up as a supportive partner or someone else that works for you?
We all know we don’t show up as the same person in all scenarios…. rather than fall into habits, rather than bounce off fears, maybe its taking a moment to check-in with yourself and ask, “What is going to serve me here and allow me to be heard?”
Sometimes opening the conversation with structure and agreement gets everyone involved on the same page — in the same chapter and book too. When practiced, this skill supports raising the level of efficiency of a group, honors the values of the people involved, opens an invitation to what’s possible and to what’s accountable. The making of agreements like this helps people to be heard and helps turn the page to what moves you forward.
From here, try it out!