Are Your Motivations Clear in Crucial Conversations?

For this article by Jo Ilfeld, CEO of Incite to Leadership on overcomplicating things clear motivations the images shows a woman with crossed hands thinking.

Have you ever worried about having a crucial conversation and whether it might upset the other person or tarnish your relationship?

Recently I discussed with my husband a difficult conversation he needed to have.

One key aspect we talked about was his motivation for having this conversation. It’s important to be clear about your motivations when engaging in difficult or crucial conversations. Often, we have dual motivations: there might be a benefit or gift for the other person, and there’s usually something in it for us as well. Being transparent about these motivations can make a significant difference.

Start by clearly expressing what motivates you to have the conversation. Be upfront about the benefits for the other person to show you have their best interests at heart, but also be honest about your own motivations. This level of transparency builds trust and ensures the other person knows you’re being straightforward.

Owning your ulterior motives demonstrates self-awareness and creates a “both-and” scenario rather than an “either-or.” Clear motivations help conversations proceed with more trust and understanding, benefiting both parties involved.

Read more on clear communication.

Jo Ilfeld, PhD

An executive leadership coach, Jo helps C-suite leaders, executives, and high-potential managers develop the flexibility, skill, and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years…. and beyond. She works with individuals, teams and organizations on four core areas of leadership development. Check out Jo's bio page for more information.

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