Monday, October 11, 2010

3D Juggling 498: Seesaws

If you would prefer to read Juggling in your Facebook news stream, here's the link to Like Us!  We've had a number of emails from people with Year 12/13 children who are interested in the Personal Statement Workshop but can't make the date.  Yes - we do 1-1s.  And if you can get a critical mass together, talk to us about running a workshop in your area.

Claire writes: "I was training a group last week. Their mandate is to spend two hours with individuals helping them to review their work:  Guided self-appraisal you might call it.  They were great... yet the reviewers were talking on far too much of the responsibility for the conversation. The centre of gravity was resting with the person asking the questions and not the person there to review their work.

Conversations are like seesaws. We have all probably had experience of talking to people who take over, dominate, make everything about themselves.  We're left in the air, wondering what it's all about.  Yet 1-1s can often feel like that, too.  We go to a review or appraisal or 1-1 with things we want to explore, and the person who is there to assist us takes the journey off in their own direction, tries hard to ask questions, gets us to retell things we already know, or tells us their own story.

Seesaws work well when there is balance between the people on them - and a shared sense of responsibility for the ride.  This is around content AND style AND even the order in which you discuss things.  A productive conversation is much more than reporting back.  It has allowed things to be seen and understood in different ways.  So some helpful questions when we are facilitating conversations include:
  • What do you want to talk about?
  • What do they want to talk about?
  • And what do you each want to be different by the end of this conversation?
  • How will you know you have got there?
  • How will we work together today?
  • Where shall we start?
  • Where are we now?
  • We agreed to x. Have we got where we need to be?

Slightly tweaked, some of these are also great questions for conversations around new business.  Where does the centre of gravity need to be in your next work conversation?"

If you want to find out how we can help you develop these skills in your team, call us and we can arrange to have a coffee.

Discuss this week's juggling at

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