Effective leaders are good communicators. In Critical Conversations as Leadership, Dr. William A. Donohue describes conversation as a card game called Card Talk. The key to successful business communication and interpersonal communication is to select the right Talk Cards in the right situations to accomplish your communication goals. Critical Conversations as Leadership will walk you through the process of selecting the right card or cards, so that you can think strategically about how to get your points across. Card Talk teaches communicators to think strategically and to think ahead of critical conversations and to not ‘think behind’ or reactively.
The Leader Card is fundamental to playing and winning conversation games, as is learning when and how it should be played. In addition to the Leader Card, business professionals need a large deck of both personal and professional cards to give them the flexibility they need to play communication games effectively. Casual conversation creates the foundation upon which problem-solving and conflict evolves. Knowing which cards to use in the Casual Conversation Game is an important factor in successful conversation.
Playing the Decision-making Game, especially in a group situation, requires many different cards to be played. Critical Conversations as Leadership teaches when to use the Leadership Card, the Colleague card, The Expert Card and many others to promote a team atmosphere and allow individuals to freely exchange information.
Negotiating is often adversarial, it does not have to be. Learning how to resolve conflict allows effective leaders to communicate in a collaborative and successful way. Performance appraisals often dreaded by both the employer and the employee. Playing The Performance Appraisal Game effectively will allow leaders to painlessly inspire and energize their team members in order to get the most out of each employee.
Effective presentations require multiple cards be played along with the right combination of digital and personal media to reach and acquire an audience’s attention. Learning the five rules for structuring the Presenting Game allow presenters make an effective presentation that will assist with problem-solving and generate a discussion about effective solutions.
The most important expectation that followers have of leaders is that they lay out a vision for the organization. Readers will learn how to play the Vision Game, the communication effort needed to sell and sustain their vision. Thanks in part to the internet, today’s customers expect to interact with companies. Customers play a variety of cards and companies need to know how to respond effectively. Playing the Customer Engagement Game requires a wide range of personal and professional cards so that customers feel welcomed and that their input is valued. Effective communication requires learning what an out-side-in company is and what the key cultural elements are that must be addressed to become more customer-centric.
Finally, realizing that mistakes happen to even the most seasoned veterans of critical conversations, it is important to be aware of the most common mistakes that can happen during tense interactions. The final chapter of Critical Conversations as Leadership will walk you through these common mistakes and prepare you for successful critical conversations.