neXtworking Recap – Managing difficult Conversations

Eleccion’s innovative organizational structure doesn’t come without challenges.  As a flat, non-hierarchal organization, there can be ambiguity and uncertainty throughout—after all, where does the buck stop if there is no boss?  As we decided that the best way to manage our company and employees was to follow a self-management model, we knew that things like responsibility, accountability, and ownership would require difficult conversations that differed from a traditional company.  Normally, if you have an issue with your work, a client, or a colleague, you would “run it up the flagpole” to the supervisor or manager who would then deal with it.  At Eleccion and as part of our self-management model, we believe that our people can be in charge of initiating and resolving their own difficult conversations rather than have a supervisor do it for them.

Gina Weatherup

To assist us in learning how to best approach and conduct difficult conversations, we enlisted the help of Gina Weatherup, founder of Chantilly Mediation and Facilitation.  Gina leveraged her corporate and county court experience in mediation to share tips and tools that we could each use in stressful situations.  Some of the clear takeaways included listening with empathy (increasing understanding), deep breathing (disarming emotional responses), and understanding your own approach (being aware of your part in the conversation).  Gina then assigned each of the neXtworkers to a small group where we role played potentially challenging situations that could commonly arise in our organization.

This neXtworking session provided excellent insights into the types of difficult conversations that might come up within our organization, as well as knowing how to best handle them when they happen.  Gina was excellent in taking our experiences and using them to enlighten the group with the best practices to ensure a well-functioning company.

Our June neXtworking session will focus on the Blockchain and how it may just be the next biggest disruptive technology.