Professional Conversations, Part 2

October 26, 2017

Lift Your Lead in 200 words*


Turn Negative Complaints into Positive Conversations
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

I was asked by an organization to facilitate “a culture change.” I sensed that the phrase, “organizational culture,” was a cover for a leadership issue.

After probing the situation, the truth surfaced. The organization had a good leader who employed strong directors, each with a sense of personal turf and entitlement.

At issue was the relationship between the leader and directors. The situation had deteriorated to the point that the only conversation between the leader and the individual directors was superficial – “how ya doin’,” “great game last night,” or “leavin’ early for the lake today.”

This was not a culture problem, but a leadership crisis. You pay a price if you neglect professional conversations with team members.

In a survey of a thousand workers, 91% of the employees reported that communication issues create disdain directed at the boss1. Here are the four top complaints:

  • The leader does not recognize team member’s achievements.
  • The leader does not give clear directions.
  • The leader does not take time to talk with team members.
  • The leader refuses to meet with team members.

Re-engineer the complaints into positive professional conversations.


1Interact/Harris Poll, Harvard Business Review, July, 2015.
*Most people read about 200 words per minute; this article is 206 words.

About the Author:

Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott is a Professor of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. He teaches classes at the Masters and Doctoral level in Leadership and Research. At Trevecca he is also the Director of C.L.E.A.R. – The Center of Leadership Effectiveness and Renewal.

Comments (1)

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  1. Linda Jones says:

    Hi Richard! Hope all is well! Love the photos of your granddaughter! Im working with group of supervisors and we could all benefit from the info you shared in the two-part entries for Professional conversations. In addition to sharing your website with the team, may I cut and paste the blog information in order to get it into the hands of the group?? Thank you! Linda