In his book, The Responsible Leader, Tim Richardson explains that to create a high-performance culture, you need to plan and prepare for the following moments to ensure the conversations surrounding them are both meaningful and intentional:
- recruitment and induction of new team members
- performance management discussions
- promotion interviews and talent management discussions
- coaching discussions
- customer sales presentations
- handling customer complaints and problems
- briefings to the press, analysts and wider market
- senior leaders' contact with, and briefings to, teams across the organization
- internal presentations with executive committees
- team meetings and management meetings
Richardson's advice to improve the quality of these conversations is to consider:
- How clear is the principal message for the conversation?
- How can you ensure that the content of the discussion is focused on the key message(s)?
- How can you ensure the quality of the listening by all parties?
- How can you set a pace that is both focused and allows for real thinking?
- What can you do to make the conversation a generative one that moves things forward?
- How can you be responsible for holding parties accountable for responses and actions?
- How will you ensure that decisions taken are mindful of the wider system and longer term as well as short term?
- How will the organization's values be demonstrated openly and authentically in the conversation?
Richardson is a Director of Waverly Learning and Director of Its Original Ltd. Previously Head of Leadership Development and Talent Management at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, he has worked with corporate clients, such as HSBC, BBC, BOC, Zurich, Centrica, Llloyds TSB, Barclays and Uniliver amongst others.