Which Issue?



✓ Identify the layers:

  • the task
  • the behaviour that’s displayed when discussing the task

✓ Determine which issue needs addressing first or at all: what has the higher priority. If you do determine that the behaviour doesn’t need addressing but it keeps occurring and that frustrates you … it will eventually need addressing.

✓ Respectfully call behaviours with the intent to improve communication and relationships. 


Let me know what you think…


Video Transcript

In a coaching conversation, the interesting dynamic that popped up was which issue were we talking about. Now I think that’s a really good question to ask when you’re faced with, say you’re faced with an employee who, you’re wanting them to get some work done, you’ve been trying to chase them to get some work done but around the chasing of getting that work done, there’s certain behaviour, there’s, maybe there’s excuses or maybe there’s blaming or maybe there’s, “I’m busy, I’m busy, I’m busy”, or, “Oh we’re just so busy at the moment”, when the reality is they’re busy but it’s not an unreasonable busy or they’re not able to prioritise their work or something like that that’s going on.

And it was a really interesting conversation I was having with my client because just in the moment we realised, I was talking about one issue and she was talking about another. And then we had that moment where we both clarified. I was talking about the behaviour that is surrounding the piece of work and she was talking about the piece of work.

And while both of those pieces or both of those issues, the behaviour and the piece of work, probably need to be addressed, I think it’s a really neat, really important distinction that is really helpful to be really clear about, when you are wanting to have feedback conversations, when you’re wanting to have coaching conversations with your staff.

When you’re wanting to deal with layers of things going on. So there’s, in this example it was a case of yes you need to have a conversation around work prioritisation, understanding the importance of the particular work that was being asked to be done. The implication of that work not being done is a really important why. And really making sure that you and the staff member or, in this case, my client and their staff member, were on the same page. And, talk about that when we have these conversations what I’m noticing is your response to me tends to be, regularly, or not always but regularly, “I’m always busy, I’m always busy”, or “We’ve got this much on” or “It wasn’t my fault.”. Naming that behaviour as your observation, so you have to own it. And then dealing with that and trying to understand what’s going on for the employee, from a helpful perspective. Trying to unpack what’s going on so that you can help them reprioritize.

You let them know that you pick up on this message that they’re sending, if they’re even aware of the types of messages they’re sending from their communication. And try and open the way for a far more positive conversation. And so that, if you’re the manager and you’re asking for a piece of work and you feel like you’re constantly getting this pushback behaviour, you can adjust that and you can probably have a far more honest conversation and far more honest responses from the employees.

I thought that I’d share that because it was such a, a light-bulb moment and a really neat distinction between the work issue and the behaviour that was coming when discussing the work issue. So two issues for the price of one per se.

So just paying attention to that and being really clear that you work on both so that the relationships are always working towards the positive and the work is getting done the right way at the right time. I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Bye for now.

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