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How to enable your managers to have brilliant career conversations with their people

The success of these conversations will give you the best way of ensuring your organisation’s strategic requirements are being met with the potential and aspiration of your people. Your talent management strategy depends on these conversations happening in order to identify and retain all levels of talent throughout your organisation while at the same time driving performance.

Why are some career conversations ineffective?

For managers one of the key challenges with holding career conversations is the perceived ability to match the expectations of their colleague. Potential constraints on money, resource and opportunity can lead many to feel that the discussion is just a tick-box exercise. They may also have opinions or experience of their own personal career progression that result in a bias towards the type of coaching and support that they can offer.

Managers need to take the lead in developing talent, and your support and guidance is essential.

Provide guidance, support and development for your people managers

Here are some tips and guidance you can offer your people managers to demonstrate the importance of having regular aspirational career conversations with their team.

  1. Reach out to your team members to schedule a one-to-one meeting to discuss their career aspirations. Don’t just wait for the annual or mid-term appraisal. These meetings should be part of your weekly or monthly update sessions.

  2. Start the conversation by letting your team member know about the importance of enabling everyone to reach their full potential, whatever that may be. Be open, approachable and empathetic. Make the link to the talent management strategy.

  3. Ask open-ended questions to encourage your team member to share their thoughts and feelings, for example, “What are your career aspirations?” or “What are your long-term goals?”

  4. Listen carefully to what your team member is saying, and ask follow-up questions to clarify and deepen your understanding. Avoid interrupting or making assumptions.

  5. Offer feedback and guidance based on your knowledge and experience. Provide constructive feedback on areas for improvement, and suggest opportunities for growth and development.

  6. Work together with your team member to develop an action plan for achieving their career goals. This should include specific goals, timelines, and steps for achieving those goals.

  7. Schedule regular check-ins with your team member to monitor progress and provide ongoing support and guidance.

  8. By having regular conversations with your team members about their career aspirations, you can help them develop their skills, achieve their goals, and build a strong and committed team.

To find out more about my approach to leadership development and talent culture, let’s continue the conversation by emailing me with ALIGNED Talent in the subject to find out more.


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