Turbo Leadership Systems

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May 27, 2014 Issue 484 To our clients and friends

Art of Conversation

Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Ask questions and listen

“A man is like an island; you ought to row around him a couple of times before you decide where to land.”
Author Unknown

Stephanie, assistant branch manager for a Portland healthcare organization, told Session 2 of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“I was inspired at the first session of the LDL by the period on the ‘art of conversation.’ I loved the mental stack of mnemonic memory devices we learned for making conversational questions flowing and natural. As we were using this memory tool to help us be more organized and better prepared to introduce ourselves in front of the class at the first session, I thought, ‘Why haven’t I heard of this before?’ Then Larry showed us how to use this tool, which dates back to the forum orators of ancient Rome, to introduce ourselves to new people in social and business situations. This is a way to really get to know people in a hurry. I was excited with this tool for introducing ourselves starting with:

  • our name
  • who’s inside our house
  • what kind of work you do
  • how long you’ve been in your current role
  • what you enjoy most about your job
  • what is most difficult part of your job
  • what you do for fun

Armed with the ‘10 Magic Questions’ and the mnemonic reminder track, I made it a point to ask everyone in our branch who I directly manage and the nurses who I co-manage the inner-view questions. Doing this helped me learn a little more about the people I work with, their perspective, their world view, their perceived strengths and weaknesses. My favorite questions, the ones that helped me know our people better, understand them better, were the open-ended questions; what each of them like most about their job and what they find to be the most difficult part of their job. I

can now use their likes and dislikes to match special projects to their specific areas of interest. This gives me insight for motivation, communication, direction, correction, coaching and feedback of all kinds.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is when I show a genuine interest in the people on our team by asking questions and listening to what they like and dislike about their job, I learn what is important to one employee may not be as important to another. The action I call you to take is get to know your employees, find out what makes them tick. Really listen, especially to what they enjoy and find most challenging about their job. The benefit you will gain is a better understanding of what is important to those you work with and manage. You will be able to leverage, capitalize on, and maximum the value of your most important resource, your human resource. You will create an engaged, high performance team.”

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