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Podcast Episode #22: Effective Course Correction Conversation: W.P.S.A.

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Overview of Episode #22 ---

  • Conversation model to help you effectively handle conflict, performance issues and sensitive subjects in a calm, confident, get results way 4 simple steps.
  • Greatest possibility for Building trust, cooperation and buy-in.
  • Episode #4 in a 4-part series on Accountability.

Timing on Recording: @  2:15---

Topic 1: Three Other Accountability-Focused Podcasts

Timing on Recording: @  8:50 ---

Topic 2:  Effective Course Correction Conversation

  • How do you prepare so that you can have an effective course correction conversation – one that will help you clearly state the problem and get buy-in to begin make changes?
  • Conversation a dialogue a back and forth where all of the information is shared and discussed with a focus on eventually coming up with a plan, together
  • Awkward at first – clumsy – each time, easier, faster, more natural…
  • First step is W- Warm Start– that is to begin the conversation with a calm and open demeanor.
  • The next is: P – for Problem. This is where you state the problem and then you ask the other person, their view.
  • Once the problem’s been thoroughly discussed and there’s been some agreement on it, you move to the next step, S – Solutions.
  • Once one or more solutions have been selected you go to the fourth and final step with is:
    A-Agreement. This is where you confirm what actions will be taken and you set a time and date for review.
  • That’s it: WPSA.

Timing on Recording: @ 14:00  ---

Topic 3: Let's Go Into Detail Around Each Step...

  • Warm Start. FOCUS:  Make the conversation as comfortable as possible given the circumstance.


    •    Be Sincere and Real
    •    Be Specific
    •    Express what’s right about this person, situation
    •    If the situation is super tense: at a minimum take the scowl off your face and offer warm eye contact, a firm handshake and calm demeanor.
  • The next step is to into to Stating the Problem  FOCUS: State and Get Agreement on the Facts. Plan what you say in advance.  There are two steps.


    Step 1-  You share your view of the facts, what you’ve seen and heard
    Be succinct, be direct
    Do not ramble.

    Step 2-  Ask: What's your view of this?
    Listen Aggressive – to understand. No, “Yea, but...” Just listen & ask questions.
  • Step 3 - SOLUTIONS-   FOCUS: Only move to solutions after you’ve both come to some agreement about the facts.  Let the other person start first

    Part 1: Ask, “What ideas do you have?”  Questions to use:

    “Tell me more.”  “How would that help?” “What obstacles (or problems) would this create or cause?”“Do you have any additional ideas?  Breathe!

    2: Share your ideas after the other person shares

    3: Discuss Options and Decide What’s Next
  • You wrap up the discussion with an important, very simple step, Agreement. This simple step gets skipped over often. If you skip this step – you’ve blown it. If you do not confirm what you heard with what the other person heard – you do not have a commitment.

    FOCUS: Recapping What’s Been Discussed. Confirming commitments.


    •    Get the employee to restate the plan, agreement –“So Jim, we came up with some great ideas for improvement today – let’s recap with you sharing what your plan is…”   Add anything that needs to be added or clarified.
    •    Add measurements
    •    Schedule a specific time for follow up

    That’s WPSA.

Timing on Recording: @  35:00  ---

Topic 4: Your Turn - Get Out a Piece of Paper

  • WARM START: How will you start the conversation? What will you do to demonstrate sincere care and appreciation.
  • PROBLEM:  Step 1 – Describe the problem succinctly and factually. Step 2 – Ask, What’s Your View? (listen)
  • SOLUTIONS:  Ask, What ideas/ solutions do you have? (listen) List the ideas/suggestions you’ll make here:
  • AGREEMENT  EE Restate agreed upon solution. What date and time will you recommend for follow up
  • Hardest parts – 1) stating the PROBLEM clearly, succinctly, factually and 2) listening to understand
  • I remember one of my leadership class participants, Joe, a seasoned manager who was very skeptical of the steps we’re about review together. He didn’t think they would work.
    I challenged Joe to try it and then, if it didn’t work he wouldn’t have to come to class again.

    When we met again the following week, he stood up and said, “Well, I guess I’ll continue to come to class because this stuff works!” He tried the communication template with one of foremen who had some safety issues and in the past had been defensive.

    Joe exclaimed, “I followed every step. It felt a little awkward to me, but my Foreman didn’t seem to notice. We had a good discussion and we made progress. He didn’t even stomp out like he usually does.”

    So if you’re skeptical – I understand. But I will also challenge you – try it first. Okay?

Books Mentioned in This Podcast
Get a complimentary audio book and support this podcast by using my affiliate link:
- Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations,
Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior, 2nd Edition
- The Oz Principle: Getting Results Through Individual and Organizational Accountability
- The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World's Most Disruptive Company

Handout Mentioned:
PDF Download of  the R.E.V. Accountability Process Questions

Related Service:
Short- Term Leadership Coaching – Using TriMetrix


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