Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, urged us to "start with the end in mind". When having a high performance conversation, you really need to understand what it is that the other person is trying to achieve - even if, at first, they seem unable to tell you!
When John Blakey came to speak at our executive peer group meeting, we spent a lot of time learning how to question, probe, dig and clarify, to really understand the goal that taps into the highest level of passion, motivation and commitment for our colleague, staff member or family member. this is worth taking the time, to avoid talking about superficial things while the real story goes untold. Here are some great questions:
If you believed anything was possible, what would you want to do?
And why is that important to you?
Why is this such a dilemma for you?
Why do you think this is the case?
What else have you considered doing?
If you get that, what does that mean for you?
What if we stretched this even further?
If you could start over, what would you do differently?
What were you afraid of?
What is the connection between… and…?
Think about how you can spend a little extra time to really uncover the 'goal behind the goal' in your next high performance conversation, to get the best from the person you are with!