Critical Conversations For Dummies
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The critical conversation skills and its EDGE model can be applied to the hiring process, in order to build effective teams. With critical conversation skills, HR can identify the best people to complete a team and help it achieve its goals.

Think of the outcome if the hiring process operated a bit differently. A leader in a company examines how a team is performing and asks other leaders where there may be opportunities for growth and development of current employees. After discussing possible options, a team of leaders decides on what a great organization looks like and what jobs and roles should be in the organization.

Next, the team gets moving with promoting employees, putting training and development opportunities in place, and finding the right candidates to fill any gaps the organization may have. Throughout the process, leaders can evaluate candidates and the process and make adjustments as needed.

This method applies the components of the EDGE model for a critical conversation to the hiring process or for a specific role as well. For example:

  • Explore and examine options: Find out what work needs to be done and who can do the work. Can current employees be promoted or does the organization need to look externally for the perfect match?

  • Make a decision: This is where the interviewing takes place and the organization looks for the right candidate to fill the position.

  • Gain commitment and get moving: Once the decision to hire is made, it is time to get to work, make the offer, and get the employee up to speed in his new role.

  • Evaluate: Once the hire is made, conduct a 30-, 60-, and 90-day review to make sure the new employee is feeling welcome.

During interviews you can look for candidates that have important critical conversation skills as well. If a candidate uses facts and data rather than opinions and rhetoric, you have a good indication that she has substance and is genuine. In fact, all the communication tools necessary to have a critical conversation are great skills to have throughout any organization.

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Christina Tangora Schlachter, PhD, is a Certified Professional Coach. She has created and taught courses on communication skills, crucial conversations for new managers, communication for professionals, and dealing with difficult conversations. She is the coauthor of Leading Business Change For Dummies and is the Chief Leader of She Leads.

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