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Breakthrough Business Conversations: Eight Ways To Improve Operations And Drive Success

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Keeping a business aligned with its mission can be a challenging prospect, as there are a variety of obstacles, some unseen, that can easily shift the enterprise off course. To prevent this from happening, organizations need to have carefully crafted plans and strategies in place and, above all, develop an ability to adapt quickly to changes in the market or environment.

This means that it is particularly important for companies to identify areas of growth or previously unnoticed problems—and team members are often a poorly tapped resource for this. Conversations with employees, leaders and customers alike can be a valuable guide for business operations: These kinds of meaningful, breakthrough discussions can help organizations improve the way they operate, as well as make sure they are still on track to successfully meet their goals.

To find out more, we asked members of the Forbes Business Council, below, to discuss what businesses can do to tap into breakthrough conversations or ideas in order to help their companies thrive. Here is what they advise:

Photos courtesy of the individual members

1. Create An Environment Of Safety

In order to get real, honest feedback, you have to have created an environment of safety for your people. By focusing on trust, we have found that those harder conversations are just a little easier and, in the end, it makes all of us better. – David O’Hara, Improving

2. Find The Root Of The Problem

Breakthrough conversations are about having an ability to understand conflict in all methods—what the conflict is and where the conflict is coming from—and then being able to have hard conversations about this topic. So, I try to walk into conversations by first digging in really deep into what the problem is. Once we find the root problem, it’s then about discussing all the parts of the problem. – Ben Lamm, Hypergiant

3. Listen, Learn, And Empower Your Teammates

I’ve found that the best conversations come from listening, learning and empowering my teammates. A mentor told me once that the best boss of his 40-year career would always ask, “What do you think?” It engenders conversation, strengthens relationships, and focuses on core issues. Any question or statement that can enable dialogue has been the greatest path to breakthrough conversations for us. – Robert Neely, InspireMore

4. Surround Yourself With Mentors

I surround myself with different mentors for different needs. When dealing with specific business issues, I may surround myself with a couple of perspectives to right-size the approach for my specific need. I find that it’s the combination of approaches that usually helps me understand how to fit it to my specific goals. – Shannon Prager, Leadit Marketing

5. Be Collaborative And Honest

In the words of Harry S. Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Collaboration takes the ego out of the picture, which paves the way to breakthrough conversations. – George Baker Sr., ParkHub

6. Stop Thinking Linearly

The key to effective breakthrough conversations is to stop thinking linearly. Rather than looking for all your business strategies to make sense on paper, trust that if they inspire you and give you a strong feeling, they will lead to success and growth. This comes down to sharpening your intuition and learning to trust yourself in difficult moments. You will have a breakthrough once you let go. – Sabeer Nelliparamban, Tyler Petroleum Inc

7. Expose Your Own Vulnerability

As a CEO, don’t pretend to have all the answers. Approach your team with humbleness and humility. Your vision must be firm and unwavering, and how you get there should be an open discussion where you embrace ideas and admit you don’t have all the answers. Collectively as a team, though, you’re sure together you will find the best paths. – Betsi Bixby, Meridian Associates Inc

8. Communicate Constantly And Share Your Vision

Sharing the vision for the company to not just your upper management but to every person in your organization is critical, so that people understand that they are not just coming to a job to collect a paycheck but that the company’s overall success is directly tied to their performance and understanding of what vision the company is trying to achieve. – Antonio Stroman, The Brass Effect, Inc

Source: Forbes – Entrepreneurs