Prev Next

Courageous Conversations: How to Identify the Root Cause of a Difficult Conversation Before a Courageous Conversation

Before a courageous conversation can take place, the manager should have a very clear understanding of the root cause of the event/events that triggered the issue being discussed.

To identify the root cause of a difficult conversation before engaging in a courageous dialogue, it is essential to follow key steps outlined in the provided sources:

  1. Understand the Impetus for Progress: Clearly know why you are considering a courageous conversation and what is driving the need for improvement or change[4].
  2. Define the Behavior Causing Issues: Identify the specific behavior or situation that is causing problems and understand its impact on the situation[4].
  3. Consider Consequences of Inaction: Reflect on the consequences of not having the conversation and assess whether your leadership inaction contributed to the current outcome[4].
  4. Define Success Criteria: Clearly outline what you are trying to achieve and what a successful outcome looks like from the conversation[4].
  5. Empathy and Understanding: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes to build trust and understand their perspective, considering how your actions may have contributed to the situation[4].
  6. Choose Your Emotional Approach: Deliberately select an emotional mindset that fosters a calm, productive conversation while being empathetic and understanding[4].

By following these steps, managers can effectively identify the root cause of a difficult conversation, leading to more meaningful and productive courageous dialogues that address issues constructively and foster positive outcomes.