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Productive Conversations

Few things are more dispiriting in a search than bad meetings. And they can go wrong in so many ways: group members may withhold key information, let their feelings fester, waste time on digressions, succumb to long speechmaking, re-enact old battles, or fail to reach agreement -- and that's just a sample. Moreover, search meetings can be emotionally challenging when members honestly disagree on either the nature of the role or the qualifications of a candidate.

NLG provides guidance to committees and their chairs, giving them tools and coaching to sequence, structure and facilitate conversations in ways that are more likely to produce wise and stable decisions, while preserving relationships. We typically provide this process coaching at the outset of their efforts, but we can also come in when a committee faced with multiple challenges must "get back on track."

Our coaching model draws on a model of four "critical junctures" or sequential tasks that a committee must navigate: scoping, understanding, deliberating, and deciding. Failure to navigate each juncture typically produces process problems later in the search. We provide for chairs and committee members a set of checklists and a process model for how to prepare for, convene and facilitate meetings so that each juncture produces the consensus required to move forward effectively in the search. When invited by the committee to do so, we can also "shadow" the meetings as process consultants, stepping forward to put things back on track when necessary.

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Transition Coaching

 

 

 

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