Fast Company Article by Grayson James – October 20, 2023

3 Essential Types of Conversations Managers Should HaveWith Their People There are three types of conversations that every leader must master. These conversations aren’t just an exchange of words—they engage people’s imagination, commitment, energy, and intention. In this article in Fast Company, I describe each of these types of conversations and share some common pitfalls […]

How collaborative is your leadership team?

Put a group of smart, creative and committed leaders together and you don’t automatically get a high performing, collaborative leadership team. You’ll often get something that looks more like a polite cage fight, with each player jockeying for position, working hard to avoid losing and maximize winning (winning = more authority, recognition, control, territory, headcount, […]

How to cultivate dissent in your organization

Better decisions, avoiding blind spots, stimulating new thinking, and strengthening personal commitment are just a few of the benefits of cultivating dissent in your conversations. But it isn’t always easy to do. Here are three things that can help: 𝟏. 𝐃𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐫 “𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤-𝐢𝐧𝐬.”When discussing important issues, go around the room or video screen to check […]

How dissent helps your organization

If you talk to many leaders, they’ll tell you that dissenting views are welcomed and even encouraged in their organizations. Intellectually, they understand the value of dissent for improving thinking, learning and decision-making. But in practice, truly welcoming dissenting perspectives is pretty rare. Dissent is more often seen as uncollaborative, an obstacle to progress, and […]

When straight talk weakens your team’s performance

Most executives agree that honesty and straight talk are a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to hear what your colleagues really think and feel? I wouldn’t, for starters. To clarify, I think honesty is critical for performance. But I’ve also seen how it can inhibit good thinking and shut down engagement. I first learned this […]

Trash your meeting agenda (and have a good conversation)

  If there is one thing that almost every manager depends upon when preparing to lead a meeting, it’s the agenda. Agendas can be useful tools. They can inform folks about what kinds of topics and conversations to expect and how to prepare for them. They can provide an exo-skeleton for the meeting—an “objective” external […]

Do your meetings sometimes look like this?

Do your hashtag#meetings sometimes look like this? When we’re not talking about real issues or having real hashtag#conversations with each another, hashtag#meetings usually feel like a waste of time. It doesn’t have to be that way. We help hashtag#leaders and their hashtag#teams talk about what really matters in straightforward ways. Learning how to discuss what […]