Monday, July 20, 2015

Quote of the Day

“The only limitations you have in life are the ones you place on yourself. Dream without limits.” 
-Kay  Lackey 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.- Confucious

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

"There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." -Ray Goforth

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crucial Conversations: From Dread to Success

According to Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler (2002) a crucial conversation is “a discussion between two or more people where (1) stakes are high, (2) opinions vary, and (3) emotions run strong” and the outcome can greatly impact your life as well as theirs. Many of us are often faced with having a crucial conversation with our co-workers, leaders, or family members on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. 

These conversations are often dreaded but are vital to an organization’s success and achievement of strategic goals. Topics discussed in crucial conversations include employee performance issue, change initiatives, failing to meet organizational goals, inter office conflicts, and more. At times, participants may feel or have emotional/physical outbursts, communication breakdowns, and/or feelings of being in a hostile environment.

So, how can you turn this dreaded conversation into success a positive experience with successful results? 

It has been my experience that you have to change how you react by changing how you think. To help change your thought process you need to:

1. Identify:
a. The conversation is crucial by understanding stakes are higher than normal, opinions and solutions vary, and emotions are fragile. 
b. The purpose of the conversation, facts of the issue, as well as the goal/outcome you want to accomplish. 
c. Your feels about the other participant(s), yourself and understand you are not the only person dreading the conversation. The other participant(s) have assumptions about your intent and may be feeling the same amount of stress, anxiety, and fear that you may be feeling. 
d. Any possible fears, concerns, and your contribution to the issue. 
e. Who the other participant(s) and
     i. Knowledge of the situation, purpose, and position.
    ii. Do they think the situation is an issue? Why or Why Not?
   iii. Assumptions of his/her: fears, desired goals/outcomes, and common fear shared among you.*Do not take your assumptions as fact because you may be wrong.

2. Remove Emotion: 
a. Remember the conversation is not about you. Focus on the facts of the conversation by understanding what the goal of this conversation is and what is being asked of you. Do not focus on negative comments or actions. 
b. Do not place blame on the other participant(s), remember you have a hand in this conversation as well. Take into account both of your actions that have led to the issue.*Do not take your assumptions as fact because you may be wrong.

3. Inquiry, Set Rules, and Acknowledge:
a. Inquiry with the other participant(s) if this is a good time to talk.
b. Give mutual respect by talking then listening attentively (active listening). Do not interrupt or place blame on the other party.
c. Acknowledge their position(s) by activity listening and repeating back to them what you heard. If you do not understand something then ask for clarification. DO NOT place blame. 
d. Write down areas of commonality, disagreements, and additional areas of conflict. 

4. State the Facts: 
a. It is easy to focus on the wrong thing, play the blame game, or breakdown completely during a crucial conversation.  Stick to the goal of the conversation, actions required, and re-direct negative statements back to the facts.

5. Advocate and Build a Solution Together: 
a. During the conversation, identify the commonalities and areas where you could possibly compromise to find a solution. 
b. In areas of compromise, identify common possible solutions by acknowledging everyone’s ideas. Attempt to incorporate all ideas in the solution, if applicable. 
c. DO NOT dominate the conversation, remember the rule: Give mutual respect by talking then listening attentively (active listening). Do not interrupt or place blame on the other party.

6. Respectfully Table the Issue, Walk Away, and Maintain Safety: 
a.     Do not be afraid to respectfully table the issue and walk away from a crucial conversation. Sometimes it can be hard to remove emotions and a solution seems a life time away. Therefore, you should have the conversation when emotions are low and you can communicate without anger. 

There are many books, blogs, and research on how to handle crucial conversations. I have included a few of my favorites below. I would suggest reading at least one or two in your lifetime. With that being said remember everyone is different and will react differently when approached. So, do not be discouraged if you experience a communication breakdown, try the conversation in a different way. 

Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillian, R., & Switzler, A. (2011). Crucial conversations tools for talking when stakes are high, second edition . McGraw-Hill.

By: Kay Lackey
Blogger ( and Organizational Development Consultant

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thought of the Day: Dream In Spite of the Negativity

What you focus on, dream about, and put your energy into, the universe will give you. Learn to dream big without limitations and give energy to positive dreams only. Leave the negative behind and no matter what anyone says or thinks, do not give up on your dreams because it is coming whether they believe it or not. Push forward, work hard, and watch it all fall into place.

Have an awesome Friday!


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thought of the Day: Easy Solutions

motivational quotesWhen looking for solutions remember: solutions do not always have to be complicated. The simplest of answers can yield the most rewards. Learn to incorporate simple solutions into your thinking process.

Happy Tuesday,

Kay Lackey

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