6 Q&As on the Upcoming Critical Conversations Workshop
Last month, our first workshop in the latest Leading Edge series focused on discovering your “why” by inspiring people to look outside the boxes and consider what really matters to them. So, what’s next? What happens when it’s time to execute on the things that matter? Well, that’s where the upcoming workshop Impact & Value Conversations comes in. In it, you’ll learn how to ensure expectations are clear, progress is consistently evaluated, and individuals are properly acknowledged.
Until then, this Q&A post with workshop leaders and talent enrichment experts John Spanczak and Ashley Rambo, offers insight into aligning expectations, ensuring accountability, and creating long-term scalability.
Q: The description of the workshop says, “great leaders clearly define what success looks like in each role” Has there been a leader in your life who’s done this for you?
A: Well, our current leader, Monica, does a great job making sure we’re aligned in our individual roles. But anyone in any workplace can take the form of a leader. Each member of our team is aware of and committed to making sure that we’re in alignment with each other and driving the strategy forward.
Q: What does that alignment look like? Is it just about giving feedback after projects?
A: That’s part of it, but it really should start before the time for feedback. It starts with clear delegation that tells a person not just what they need to do, but what the right outcome looks likes. These clear and high expectations have to be set first and everyone has to be committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure they’re on the same page with their team. Still, expectations aren’t a set it and forget it thing. It takes ongoing conversations to ensure clarity throughout.
Have you ever walked out of a meeting and said: “yes, I absolutely know what needs to be done?” But then you talk to a coworker who was in the same meeting and they have a totally different perspective about what needs to be done. How does that happen? We all heard the same message from the same leader, yet we all have very different ideas about what we need to do. That’s why people need to have ongoing conversations to ensure they’re aligned in the first instance but also aligned going forward. How do you do that? That’s one concept we’ll dive into in this next workshop.
Q: Does this become harder to achieve as an organization grows?
A: It doesn’t have to. But, one thing we see a lot of when working with our Leverage Talent Enrichment clients on culture calibration, is they have a really great culture but no method for scaling it as they grow. It’s working for where they are now, but what happens when their workforce doubles or they add a second location? This workshop will help each person understand how scalability can occur and be successful.
No single owner, CEO, or other executive can do it alone. It’s an individualized thing that has to come out of each employee. We work to create an environment where every employee has a high level of ownership. It’s like that janitor at NASA who, when asked what he was doing at work, responded: “I’m helping put a man on the moon.” That’s what makes a culture: the sum of how everyone is working. Not just the values written on the walls, but the mindset and action expressed by all the people within those walls.
Q: Is there a point of no return for this?
A: You can always become realigned but it takes willingness and commitment from both sides. That’s what engagement is all about: being committed and taking action in alignment to achieve the mission, values, strategy, and goals of the organization. As long as there is a serious effort from both sides to achieve this, it’s possible to make an impact by having valuable conversations an ingrained aspect of any organization and its employees.
Q: Where did the idea for this specific workshop come from?
A: It actually came about in the same brainstorm session as the first workshop in this series. This Impact & Value Conversations workshop really stems off of it and builds upon the importance of ongoing conversations. Knowing your “why” is one thing, but what if you came in every day fulfilling your why. Would that be enough? We don’t think so. As human beings, we want to know our work makes a difference. How is the work I’m putting forth impacting my team, my organization, and our customers? Having clarity around your why is the first step, but it can’t end there. We want people to have full confidence in what success looks like for their roles and their contributions.
Here at Clickstop, we look at things through different lenses. So, through the lens of the employee, I want to know I’m making a difference, right? But through the lens of the employer, how do you ensure everyone is accomplishing the most important work in alignment with the organizations strategies? That’s really what the Critical Conversation Workshop series as a whole is all about, but this one specifically dives into what those conversations look like.
So, what we want to ensure is that the leader and the employee have this aligned vision for success. Because neither side wants to find themselves down the road realizing they missed the mark.
Q: What excites you most about this upcoming workshop?
A: I think I’m most excited to talk about and explore the ripple effect, which most Clickstoppers know about. it’s about how our work impacts those around us. In our onboarding packet, it says, “people say life is like a box of chocolates but we think it’s more like a box of dominos.” We say this because everything and everyone is interconnected at work. One action by you can make an impact on every single person across the organization.
This workshop will include a diverse group of people from various organizations and we’re all going to be able to take the time to reflect on how our individual work impacts our teams, our company, and beyond. So, we’re excited to facilitate that and help people understand the value that they present each and every day.