Coach's VIEW

Coach's VIEW is a business column authored by executive coaches in COACH A, aimed at providing valuable insights and effective approaches for leveraging coaching to foster organizational and leadership development. The column draws on the latest coaching trends and data, as well as insights from notable global publications on coaching.

Impact of the Share of Your Conversation on Those around You

Impact of the Share of Your Conversation on Those around You
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This is from the time when Client A took up the position of president of his company.

He told me of his aspirations as president in his first session after he took up this position.

"People are everything to companies!"

"I want to work on management with human resource development as my most important theme!"

Hearing his strong tone and seeing his eyes filled with resolution, I thought,

"Oh! He is serious."

In fact, Client A took measures in rapid succession.

He started with an announcement of human resource development policy in his address to commemorate becoming president. He then gave instructions to build a comprehensive human resource development structure in the personnel department and allocated an education budget aimed at self-improvement. He also started a selection system for next-generation management leaders.

Half a year after taking up his position as president, Client A conducted his first extensive organizational survey.

This was to learn the results of his efforts over the past half a year and to find new challenges.

However, his expression quickly darkened when he saw the report.

"There is no way this can be right."

How Is the Priority Order of Organizations Determined?

"There is no way this can be right."

What caused him to say that? It was because the item of human resource development - one of the pillars of management - had a lower score compared to the other items.

After that, Client A immediately glanced over the free answers.

When he did so, he found numerous achievements over the past half a year written there. Most of these can be summarized into the following three points.

  • Awareness and commitment toward goals has increased
  • There is now an awareness of final profit (e.g., the reduction of wasteful costs)
  • Overtime hours have decreased

These items did not account for much of the conversation in my sessions with him. Therefore, I was also somewhat surprised by this.

I said the following to Client A as he was absorbed in reading the report while turning the pages over again and again.

"It appears that all your employees feel there have been various accomplishments."

I then continued.

"However, why have the points that have not really been a topic of conversation in our sessions come to the surface?"

He was silent for a short period when I asked him that. He then lifted his head as though he had realized something.

"The things written about in the free answers are just my most frequent daily topics of conversation with the other officers."

That was his answer.

The president then continued.

"Looking back over the past half a year, I have set out on human resource development policy at every important point and also given instructions for that."

"However, what I talk about in board meetings or in my daily exchanges with the officials I have most contact with are truly almost entirely these three topics."

Continuous Dialogue Is More Important Than Momentary Expressions

I would like to introduce the concept of the"share of your conversation" here.

This is a phrase I have coined myself. Literally, I use it when thinking about what percentage a topic accounts for all a person's conversation.

There is a principle that people naturally talk about the things with the highest priority to themselves. The more a person talks about something, inevitably, the more the people around him or her also think together about that.

As a result, it also has an impact on the priority order of those around you. In addition, if you raise the priority order of something, it can also have a not inconsequential impact on the probability of its achievement.

This means that the more you talk about something, the more it becomes likely that ideas to achieve such a thing will be born and the more it is likely that the probability of achieving it will be raised.

In other words, no matter what the top management of an organization puts into policies and instructions, without continuous dialogue, opportunities to think about that will not be created. Thereupon, regardless of the ability to achieve something, it will not be possible to expect progress to be made toward achieving that.

What should Client A do to prioritize human resource development and ensure it permeates through his organization?

Recommendation: Topic Management

First, I got Client A to express the topics he talks about over one week in a pie chart.

These results revealed that human resource development accounted for an approximately 5% share of his conversation.

"To what extent do you think it is necessary to make human resource development a topic of conversation to ensure it is truly fixated at the center of management?"

He answered this question by saying half - 50%.

He then personally determined the following three points.

  1. He will ensure that half the agenda of board meetings is related to human resource development
  2. He will establish a new human resource development council to talk only about development
  3. He will make sure to talk about human resource development in each meeting he has separately with officials

The results of this were demonstrated in the second organizational survey conducted half a year later.

The item that rose the greatest in quantitative terms was human resource development.

Comments relating to it also increased among the free answers.

With Client A impressed by these results, his present theme is to improve diverse questioning skills.

How will it be possible for everyone to think with a new point of view with the increase in time spent talking about human resource development? I am now tackling this in my coaching with him.

I think everyone has a tendency to postpone things before they know it even though they really want to do it. Have you done the same?

In some cases, there may be some clue to this in the point of view of topic management in which we intentionally and strategically select and talk about what we want to do the most as our topic of conversation.

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Language: Japanese

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