Crucial Conversations Case

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I have a high performing direct report who recently told me she feels like she is “climbing the walls”. I used the coaching model in our 1:1 meeting to dig deeper into her comment.

The purpose of the meeting was to talk more about Susan’s comment and to see if we could investigate why she felt this way. She was feeling disengaged and her work was no longer meaningful. I wanted to use this opportunity to apply the coaching model and see if we could find the root cause and address it.

Susan and I usually meet virtually as we work in different offices. I was traveling this week and Susan and I were going to be in the same location. To prepare for this meeting and to better engage with Susan and build the rapport, I suggested we schedule some time for a face to face meeting. I set the context up front, and used mirroring, WIMI and active listening during the meeting.

The preoccupation that I needed to let go of for this meeting was the fact that Susan is the top performer on my team. I needed to stop worrying that she was going quit if I could not fix the problem. I needed to make it about her and not me.

Identifying Gaps
I needed to think about the questions that I wanted to ask Susan so that I could be prepared to see her potential concerns that were not voiced directly. I also needed to make sure I got her WIMI.

I decided to use some of question framing we learned in class. I asked her about feeling like she was “climbing the walls” and started by asking her to tell me more about that. She commented that she has been in the same role for three years and that she was starting to get bored. She felt as if her job was now routine and not exciting. I asked her to tell me more about that and asked what an exciting role would look like to her. I also asked several additional follow up questions including what is most important.

Area of focus
Susan’s WIMI was that she was feeling as if she was not adding...
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