Abstract/Description

Learn how to have the essential--but sometimes difficult--conversations that create partnership.

Consider these comments we’ve overheard many times in various forms:

Manager: “I’m at a loss. I’m trying to be *Agile*. I’ve told my team they are empowered, I’ve even skipped sprint planning so they won’t clam up and wait for me to tell them what to do. But my employee satisfaction numbers are still down! What is it they want?”

Team member: “What does our boss do every day? She’s never around when we need her! We need a new server, but the Director of IT won’t authorize it without boss-lady’s approval. And even if she were around she’d probably just tell me I’m *empowered* and I need to demonstrate initiative.”

It seems like this should be a simple problem to discuss. But, when there is a history of hierarchy and one-way performance evaluation, it is far from easy. When people have been locked into up/down relationships, it takes both courage and vulnerability to begin the dialogue.

In this session, we will share a process that we have used to help managers and teams start conversations about what they need from each other to be successful. Whether you are a manager, a director, or the head of an organization, this process can help start a two-way conversation.

Learn how to set the conditions for candid and valuable conversations between managers and team members. Gain new insights that support true partnership between managers and teams. Together, you will identify changes that will benefit managers, team members, and the business.

The presentation will include both background theory and real-world examples of such essential conversations. We’ll also share our lessons learned from helping managers and teams move toward partnership.

This session is the result of a collaboration between Esther Derby and Susan DiFabio. Together, we’ve designed and refined a way to facilitate conversations that help managers and teams reshape their relationships towards greater partnership and empowerment.

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