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5 Ways to have Strategic Conversations and Connect with People over the Holidays

I am always interested in how leaders connect with people when it comes to strategic planning and leadership conversations.

I intentionally place strategic planning here as it is at the heart of my work with the SET-Ability model and working within the key business impact zones that are outlined in my book (S.E.T. for Success). Since one of those impact zones is people and culture I believe the leader needs to always be aware on how they are engaging people – stakeholders. Especially from a strategic leadership perspective.

During the holiday season there are some great opportunities to engage stakeholders (internally and externally). The key is to have a strategic mind set and be sincerely purposeful in your interactions.

Here are 5 key ways to ensure you are connecting with people and having strategic leadership conversations over the holidays.

  1. Chat about purpose of the organization and the important work you do. This means being mindful of the vision and mission of the organization. Slide it into conversation in a natural way so that people around can chat about the ways you support where you are going and why t is important.
  2. Don’t be afraid to talk about values and guiding principles. These are foundational to everyone are used to make important decisions. People may give you feedback as to how they fit with last year’s key decisions.
  3. Talk about where there was growth. Not just business growth but people growth in the organization. People connect with people and emotions. There are things that happen that people connect with and that needs to be discussed. Small personable wins are always a good thing to focus on. Large wins are great!
  4. Get ideas for the future. Let people around you open up and give you blue-sky ideas to create a strategic wish list for the upcoming year – the future. Ask what people what they think would be important to accomplish in the upcoming year. Let them speak openly without interrupting or giving feedback. Definitely don’t say anything to stop the flow of ideas. Take note of the idea. Maybe it can be part of your future plans.
  5. Finally, keep it simple. People like to enjoy themselves during the holiday season. But often there is a lot of stress to buy stuff, spend time with family, friends and then do the whole work thing. Find ways to make the life of the people around simple.

Strategic leadership conversations should not just happen in the boardroom. Most leaders start thinking about the New Year before it arrives. Often we want to hit the ground running once the calendar turns over into the New Year. The ideas that you need to generate can come from the people around you just by having open conversations while you enjoy the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to have others share their thoughts. Just listen.

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Richard Lannon
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