We’ve previously spoken about envisioning successful outcomes, thinking strategically in order to ensure your ultimate goals are achieved, and recalibrating direction when goals, priorities, and initiatives shift. 

Yet I can’t remember the last time we’ve broken down two of the most critical components needed to ensure you’re having the most successful conversations possible. 

What defines a successful conversation?
How do you know if the conversation you’ve just had was a success?
Maybe to you, it was.
Maybe to your conversational partner, it was not.

The Two Critical Components of a Successful Conversation are:
1. Defining Success (Ahead of time)
2. Preparing (Ahead of time)

(Catch the theme there? 👆😉)

Here’s the challenge…for your next strategic conversation, try the following:

1. Determine the win before you begin. Consider the following:

  • What’s going to make this a great conversation?
  • Imagine this conversation is over, what’s does a great outcome look like?
  • Suppose we have a productive conversation, what will we accomplish?

2. Now Prepare. Take 3-5 minutes before the conversation and prepare the following:

  • Review your notes and responses to the questions above.
  • Breathe deeply 5 times.
  • Think about one thing you respect about the person/people you’re speaking with.
  • Pick one word that defines how you want to show up (ex. transparent, calm, confident, curious)
  • Believe in the outcome you envisioned when you started this process.

These two tips will serve you in both personal and professional settings. Kids, Adults, Coworkers, and even the weary airline Customer Service Agent on their last nerve, dealing with summer travel cancellations, will be grateful you’ve determined the win before you begin and planned ahead of time.