Kaizenovate Blog 

Two Minute Drill:

Five Steps to Effective Conversations in Leadership

What’s up Kaizenovators, Happy Tuesday Two Minute Drill. Today’s topic of conversation is important conversations. As leaders, we get to have conversations with people that sometimes are not always easy. Sometimes they’re challenging conversations. I’m going to share with you my five-step process for having challenging and important conversations with members of our team. 

Speak, Listen, Grow…


The first thing that I like to do is to write things down. I prefer to perform a brain dump and get everything I want out on paper so that I can organize my thoughts and be prepared.

Part of that preparation involves using tools like ChatGPT or creative writing AI tools, which help me formulate my words more effectively or give me ideas to inspire me to become the most effective communicator possible. Writing things down is very important.

Number two is, when you’re in the meeting, be curious. I typically start with questions so that I can gain some perspective and context about where the person is coming from.

After asking questions, the next thing is to be an empathetic listener. Often, as humans, we’re quick to think about our response, but the more you can focus on just listening to people and being empathetic and understanding where they’re coming from, the more effective the conversation will be.

The fourth thing is being direct. Look them in the eye and be direct with any feedback you may have for them. People appreciate directness. They don’t want to have to read between the lines. They don’t want the compliment sandwich. Just tell them what’s on your mind, tell them what you’re thinking.

The last thing is ensuring that you have a follow-up. It might be sending a follow-up email summarizing what was discussed, or I ask them to send a follow-up email based on what they heard or what they understood from the conversation.

Write things down, be curious, be an empathetic listener, ensure that you’re direct, and then ensure that you have a follow-up.

Those are my five steps for having important conversations with members of my team to support them, help them grow, and help take all of us to the next level.

That’s this week’s Two Minute Drill.

You guys have a great week, and I’ll talk to y’all next week.

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