July 12, 2010 / 9:28 AM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: 3 important conversation ingredients

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http:\\www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivers the commencement address during the Kaiserslautern High School graduation ceremony in Kaiserslautern June 11, 2010. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

All leaders need to be able to deliver critical or challenging communications.

Whether you are one-on-one, in a small group discussion, or at a town hall meeting, here are the three components you need to effectively deliver your difficult message:

The right participants and setting.

Select the right type of meeting for the message. If it is particularly sensitive, use a one-on-one. If all your senior managers need to know the information at the same time, gather a small group. Be sure the physical set up allows for eye contact and projects the right informality.

Credible and thoughtful intent.

List the outcomes you want from the meeting. Be thorough and honest about what you really hope to achieve. Sharing these intentions with your audience will gain their trust.

Responsiveness and engagement.

Respond to others’ needs as they surface. Make an emotional connection with your audience. Stay true to your own values but recognize that this conversation is not all about you.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “How Good Are You at Critical Conversations?” by Anthony Tjan.

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