Performing Under Pressure:
The Three Conversations of Leadership


Performing Under Pressure:
The Three Conversations of Leadership

People want to make relationships work with their managers, teams, and peers. They want to give formal and informal feedback that improves accountability, clarity and performance. They want to bring their ideas and concerns to the table regardless of who is in the room.  What is surprising is the lack of skill and ability most people have to step into the difficult conversations they know they need to have.

Focusing on having effective conversations under pressure, this program will help people conduct daily, difficult and courageous conversations that cultivate teamwork, build connected relationships, and help global, highly matrixed, virtual teams learn to influence and collaborate more skillfully.

In addition to helping you have high-pressure and difficult conversations, you will also gain insight that when you are under pressure, you often have less effective daily conversations, which can erode trust and connection in your key relationships.

This program has been designed for people who are in formal leadership positions and responsible for both the performance and on-going development of their direct reports. This program builds on the foundation of Emotional Intelligence and will enable you to:

  • Understand the importance and impact of three critical types of conversations: Daily, Difficult and Courageous Conversations
  • Leverage insight from the brain science of emotions to have more effective conversations
  • Learn techniques to have high impact daily coaching conversations that build trust and drive results, even in time-constrained, pressure-filled environments
  • Practice having difficult conversations in a way that allows you to speak your truth and get to the “last 8%”, while not emotionally triggering the other person. Examples include:
  • Engaging people by creating emotional connection when rolling out change
  • Delivering bad news or saying “no” in a way that ensures a person is still valued and understands the message
  • Providing continuous coaching about behavior, performance and impact
  • Managing up and across when we have limited or no direct authority
  • Understand the importance of having a developmental mindset so you can coach people to the next level of performance

There comes a time when we need to have a difficult conversation in the workplace. This program will provide you with the knowledge and techniques required to have the critical conversations that you know you need to have. These kinds of conversations are never easy, but we need the skills to have them in order to consistently drive performance.

The Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Emotional Intelligence program is a pre-requisite for Performing Under Pressure: The Three Conversations of Leadership. This program may be preceded by or followed by Performing Under Pressure: Doing Your Best When it Matters Most.

There comes a time when every manager in a business must have a difficult conversation in the workplace. The Conversations Under Pressure program from IHHP will provide you with the knowledge and techniques required to have the critical conversations that you know you need to have. We all need to have those difficult conversations, where you will be delivering bad news, making decisions that impact others, providing candid feedback and holding people responsible for their actions. These kinds of conversations are never easy, but people need the skills to have them in order to consistently drive performance.
Through our research, we have identified three types of conversations required in order to have effective communication in the workplace. In the Conversations Under Pressure program, people will be provided with insight, techniques and practise on how to be skillful at:

The Daily Conversation

These are the more frequent conversations that a manager has with peers, staff and senior managers. We characterize daily conversations as having low emotional risk to both you and the other person. The daily conversation can take place in a team meeting, as part of coaching a staff member or peer, in the process of delegating or getting an update on the progress of a task or project, or even through an e-mail. A daily conversation is often not planned. It could happen when someone drops in your office with a question or concern or when a colleague is dealing with a problem. The conversations sound unimportant, but participants will learn how critical they are to setting the stage to less common and more effective Difficult and Courageous Conversations.

The Difficult Conversation

These are the conversations that leaders have with peers, staff and senior managers that are more difficult to have because there is greater risk and they are often not comfortable to have. It entails greater risk because the person on the receiving end might be hearing something they do not want to hear. This could be the conversation where a manager ‘holds’ a person accountable or is delivering ‘bad’ news. There is an obvious potential for the conversation to get personal. This is why managing emotions within the conversation is so important. If a person starts to take the feedback personally, they will ‘emotionally ‘hijack’ and not be able to hear the feedback. If these conversations are not handled skillfully, the person will become disengaged and demotivated.

The Courageous Conversation

Most of us know when they are “courageous conversations” because we still have not worked up the courage to have them! These are the planned conversations that affect a person’s well-being and work environment because they involve ‘personal risk’. These conversations are required when difficult conversations about the organization become personal. For a lot of participants, a conversation becomes “courageous” when it involves “managing up” – giving feedback to their direct manager or pushing back on a senior leader. It takes courage to have these conversations, but organizations where people avoid them will not thrive, respond to change or innovate.

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