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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

September 22, 2020

Good Conversations

Submitted by Gregg Hadley

Last week I had a good conversation with a colleague in another Extension system. Well, it was actually official business as he was interviewing me on Extension leadership. The recorded interview will be used in a leadership course he teaches. Nevertheless, it felt like two friends talking, so we will just call it one of those good conversations. This good conversation came at a really good time, as I was coming back off of my leave. Having spent that time burying a love one and dealing with their estate, I was not necessarily in a good personal or professional mindset. I needed a good pick-me-up.

You hopefully know the type of good conversation I am talking about. You are talking to a professional colleague, and you talk about each other’s approach, successes, goals, and, even more importantly, each other’s why. The positivity outweighs the negativity. You come away from the discussion feeling accomplished and rejuvenated. You also come away from the conversation remembering why you do what you do and reaffirm that you love what you do.

This good conversation also made me reflect on team meetings. Team meetings that turn into good, productive, and reinvigorating discussions are often the ones that are started by discussing team successes and talking about the team’s why. The positive charge gained from this initial discussion carries forward into the “new business” portion of the meeting. When you remind yourself of your team’s why and its recent successes, a positive team atmosphere develops, making addressing the next set of challenges less daunting.

I write about this for two reasons. First, when you need a professional or personal pick-me-up, reach out to a colleague/friend to have a good conversation. It will help you to feel accomplished and reenergized. Second, I encourage you to start off your team meetings by sharing about your team successes and discussing your why. I bet that this good team conversation will lead to greater team positivity as you make plans together for future team successes.

Never underestimate the power of a good conversation.