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You can’t afford not to have these development conversations with your team.


As a leader or manager, you know that discussing development with your team is an integral part of management. Development conversations can inspire, motivate and grow employees – and they can help solve conflict within a team. They’re non-negotiable. But, how do you know what you might have to talk about, so you can prepare? These six development conversations are the most likely – and most important – development conversations you’d need to have with your team:

Performance Conversations

These conversations focus on an employee’s work functions. They look at what their roles and responsibilities are, and then discuss whether or not they are meeting them, while looking at how they focus on, plan, manage and improve on their tasks. They can include discussions around Delivering Work on time, Improving Customer Service, Improving Processes, Delivering High Quality Work, Increasing Motivation and Drive, Fostering Collaboration, and Improving Responsiveness.

Business Conversations
Business conversations allow an employee to be more involved in an organisation’s overall objectives. Instead of simply being focused on their own work, talking to an employee about the business plans will give them a greater sense of the bigger picture; the company’s future goals – and will inspire them to be more invested in helping to achieve them. Business conversations could include discussions around Innovating for the Future, Improving Quality, Reducing Costs, Creating a Strategy or Improving Customer Intimacy.

Inspiring Conversations

While it’s important to discuss practical, performance-focused issues with employees, it’s also crucial to make sure you have a discussion that inspires them. Many leaders think that inspiration can be snuck in without too much thought. The reality is that inspiring conversations should be planned regularly, and truly thought out – just like performance conversations. Inspiring conversations revolve around Increasing Personal Motivation and Drive, Developing New Ideas, Increasing Team Motivation, Building Resilience in Difficult Times and Communicating a common Vision.

Difficult Conversations

Of course, most leaders would hope to never have to have a difficult conversation with their team members. But, that’s just not going to possible. Difficult conversations are a part of managing a team – and they are actually incredibly important. Difficult conversations tackle fragile situations head-on, which means they won’t develop into bigger issues that eventually blow up. They also allow leaders to take control, and show their team they are interested in their challenges. Difficult conversations can include: Dealing with an Uncooperative Colleague, Dealing with a Non Performing Team Member, Dealing with an Unhappy Customer, Dealing with an Emotionally Upset Person, or Dealing with a Disruptive Team Member.

Leadership Conversations

When you are developing talent in your organisation, it’s likely people will move into leadership roles. At that time, it’s important to guide them into their new role, and offer advice on how to tackle their newfound responsibility. Leadership conversations can improve a manager’s ability to deal with underperformance in their team, empower others, communicate effectively and unify team members. They may be focused on Setting Direction, Building a High Performing Team, Delivering Under Pressure, Working Across Boundaries, Innovating for the Future, Improving Quality or Accessing Required Resources.

Career Conversations

Perhaps the most popular development conversations are career conversations, that focus specifically on employee’s professional growth, both within your organisation and for their future endeavours. Career conversations help guide employees into their next career step, build goals, and make decisions about their career. They include talks about Managing a Function, Tackling New Situations, Making a Good Impression, Managing a Department, Creating a Professional Network, Developing New Talents, Making Career Decisions, Managing a Team.