• Jason Kiesau

Big Conversations

One of the things I love about facilitating training is the conversations I get to lead people into that they have never had before and likely will never have in the future. I like to kick off my SOCIAL STYLE & Versatility trainings with discussions around Comfortable and Challenging Relationships.


I first ask learners to discuss a comfortable relationship they have. I ask them to unpack it and try to articulate why it is comfortable for them. Once finished, we go around the room and they share what they talked about. As you might imagine I hear things like: honesty, trust, no judgement, shared experiences, shared values, shared goals, authenticity, vulnerability, civil discourse, etc.



I then break them into groups and ask them to have three conversations and I give them about three minutes for each conversation. All in, pretty impactful discussions in under 10 minutes. The three conversations:


1. Consider a challenging relationship and unpack and articulate what is happening that leads you to feel like it's challenging. What does the other person do?


2. When you are experiencing these interactions / situations, what does it do to you? How does it make you feel?


3. What is the impact on the business when these challenging situations / interactions are happening?


The outputs of these conversations and learners' observations are significant.


• They all have challenging interactions / situations.


• When they occur, all experience a level of insecurity and stress.


• There are significant impacts and threats to the business, the culture and results if these challenging dynamics are allowed and accepted.


The reality is, by having these conversations I am setting them up for some "gotchas" later in the training and they begin to realize a few things:


1. Many of the things they find challenging with others and take personally are really behavioral differences and Style dynamics we have never been taught.


2. We tend to be comfortable with people who's behaviors align with our needs and tend to be challenged by people who's behaviors don't align with our needs. Again, Style dynamics.


3. People aren't trying to be challenging. They are interacting, working towards goals, solving problems and dealing with stress in the way that is most comfortable to them. They don't even realize it's challenging others and causing stress.


4. If others are challenging and causing us stress without even realizing it, we are likely doing the same to others without even realizing it. This is what happens when behaviors don’t align with needs.


5. Learning more about our selves and others is really, really important. It will lead us to being more open, empathetic and appreciative of everyone on their differences, even those who once made us anxious or drove us nuts.


Most people are ignorant, but they are not evil and many times when we are in challenging situations and go in to stress and insecure mode, we assume the latter. It’s inaccurate and unhealthy and will likely lead to more stress and suffering.


Learn about yourself, be open to learning about others and act accordingly.


Self- Awareness = Self-Management = Better Decisions, Results and Relationships

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