In her newest book, Conversations for Creating Star Performers, executive coach Shawn Kent Hayashi, offers a roadmap showing how to leverage conversations into game-changing moments.  In this article on having conversations that inspire, Hayashi guides readers to go beyond the performance review and master the art of conversations that will advance employees’ talents and develop high performing teams.


Would you like to engage, grow, and inspire team members in 2012?

If so, this will be the year you are proactive in communication regularly, not just during annual review discussions. Developing star performers requires many meaningful conversations beyond the performance review.

A conversation can be powerful and inspiring or flat and dull or somewhere in between.  Are your conversations currently creating engagement, momentum, and inspiring others? Your ability to guide people to see around corners and to read what motivates them will make you a more effective manager, leader, and developer of star performers.

Do you know how to focus team members on the things that produce desired results? You’ll need to set clear accountabilities at the beginning of the year and inspire people to deliver their best. Begin the path to success by agreeing on concrete accountabilities and then select the right conversations to follow up regularly.

There are ten conversational strategies blueprinted in Conversations for Creating Star Performers that enable you to do this.  I’ll highlight six:

• Building Awareness: Do you talk about what your team members do best and where they will need support from you and others this year?

• Identifying Motivators: Do you talk about individual motivators connecting the dots between the assignment you have given and an employee’s motivators?

• Creating Development Plans: Our communication styles provide a key to identifying developmental needs – do you create development plans that are focused on each of your team members?

• Developing New Skills: Playing to strengths is smart business; however, blind spots can create derailment if left unnoticed. Have you encouraged each of your team members to identify a new skill they want to develop in 2012?

• Getting Back on Track: Do you get people unstuck and back on track? Do you need to have a conversation that creates momentum with someone?

• Accountability: By exploring what matters to other people so their long term goals are linked to what they are doing now, and then having ongoing check-in conversations about how they are doing in meeting their goals, and what you can do to help create momentum — you will guide meaningful accountability conversations.

The performance review conversation is only one part of being a successful manager and coach.  Every day choose from the menu of conversations that create star performers as you talk with your team members. Are you ready to be known as the person who is able to engage, grow, and inspire others? If so, now is the time to begin these conversations in 2012.”



Shawn Kent Hayashi is an executive coach and founder of The Professional Development Group, her clients include Fortune 500 giants, such as American Express, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, Merck as well as small entrepreneurial companies.  An Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach, Hayashi earned an M.S. in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.