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Many a times when we engage ourselves in small conversations, we conclude no constructive action items or resolutions from these conversations. In the past, I have had this discussion with many professionals and they share that having a succinct and specific conversations seem unreal as it takes a lot of time for people and individuals to articulate their problem or challenge. Even at personal level, I feel we talk for hours and upon reflecting we realize that we couldn’t solve the main problem and rather we talked everything except the problem. Have you ever felt that you couldn’t describe your problem? Have your experienced uneasiness about no conclusion drawn from the conversations with your colleagues or team members?

During my learning as an Executive Coach at Neuroleadership Institute of India and South Asia, I was taught an insightful and more effective way of having these small conversations in a meaningful and solution focused manner. Whenever a colleague or a team member or a family member or a friend approaches you to discuss their problem and we only have limited time to discuss this model really proves more effective and impactful.

The model is to encourage stakeholders to put their concern in

I want to……………………. But I ………………………..

Imagine any recent conversation you wanted to have with your team member or anyone and if it was in this statement it would have resulted in three outcomes.

1. What the concern is?

2. What is stopping the person to achieve the desired outcome?

3. What the person is expecting from us from this conversation?

In my practice as an Executive Coach, this model helps my coachee to put an entire issue in perspective and the discussion although for a short span results into action items. We also need to be mindful about the art of asking right questions to ensure the person comes up with insights and solutions which then can be put into action items. When we ask right questions, it will assure us two things. One the coachee comes up with their solutions so sustaining that becomes a more realistic probability and second it helps the coachee think better and look at the problem from a solution focused perspective.

I would like to conclude this article by sharing a personal experience about how this model has worked in my success of having small meaningful conversations. Two years back, I was talking to my friend who shared with me about career change. We spoke for about ten minutes on the issue and then I suggested him to put the problem in the above model. He took time ad eventually after about three minutes he came up with a succinct problem statement. I then asked him a couple of questions which helped him gain more insights AHA! Moment about his problem and we set two action items for him to solve the issue. I was very happy to see that he actually implemented those solutions and after fifteen days when we spoke again, he shared that it had really helped him put his problem in perspective and in solution focused manner. So, that’s the power of this model to have meaningful small conversations.

-Munir Damani

As an Executive & a Career Coach, Munir has trained, mentored and guided more than 2500 students and employees in making right career decisions. He has also trained and mentored in helping them embrace the right soft skills and be career ready.

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