“I’m not sure how to bring it up.”
“I tried to talk to her about it, and by the time the conversation was over, we never got around to talking about it.”
“We ended up going off on tangents.”
“I forgot to share my most important point!”
These are some of the comments our Ops Boss® coaching clients have shared about trying to have important conversations with their agents, teammates and team owners.
I bet it’s happened to you too. You have something really important you want to talk to someone about. Perhaps you’ve even waited for “the right time”. You get your courage up. You schedule a time to talk. 30 minutes later you walk out the door and you never really got to address the “important” topic.
The answer to that is using the process we coach our Ops Bosses® to use. It’s called 3POPS!
What is 3POPS?
3 – “3” stands for THREE brief points you want to make in your conversation.
We tell our clients to write them down on ONE sticky note and carry the stick note into the meeting. (No fair cheating and writing more than three in small print! Just three!). This helps you stay on track instead of heading down the bunny trails that often appear.
P – The first “P” in 3POPS stands for PREPARE.
One of the most important ways you can prepare is by coming to the conversation ready to speak in a way that the person you are meeting with can best hear. We are big fans of the “DISC” Profile. (DISC is a behavioral profile. You’ll find free training on it on our YouTube channel.)
If for example, your teammate is a “High D” (meaning they are a Type A, driver, fast mover) – then you need to be prepared to make your points quickly and come to a conclusion. If your teammate is a “High C” (meaning they are the detailed, engineer type), you need to come prepared to present all the FACTS and details BEFORE coming to a conclusion.
There are LOTS of behavioral profiles around: Meyers Briggs, Enneagram, 5 Love Languages. Take advantage of any you happen to have on file for your teammates and read them before any important conversation. This will help you approach people in a way that will close communication gaps.
O – “O” Stands for OUTCOME.
Always walk into a meeting knowing the outcome you are looking for so you can state it and lead the conversation down that path.
- Are you looking to end the meeting with a decision?
- Are you looking to just have the other person hear you?
- Are you looking to understand the other person’s point of view?
- Are you looking for information?
There are lots of outcomes. Be clear on what yours is.
P – The second “P” stands for PURPOSE.
Start every important meeting with the statement, “The purpose of this meeting is ________”.
Without a clear purpose, it’s easy to get off track and into tangents. If conversations come up around other topics, restate the purpose. “Awesome, love that idea. Let’s schedule a time to chat about that. Today’s meeting is for the purpose of ______.”
S – “S” stands for SUMMARY.
This is how you end the meeting. You summarize the purpose, the outcome and any actions or follow ups that each person has agreed to so that everyone has complete clarity on what happens next. For example: “Thanks so much for a great conversation about having regular meetings to discuss our goals. I appreciate that you have committed to being on time for our meetings. And I will be sure to send you a bullet point agenda the day before so we can keep our meetings to 30 minutes.”
3POPS is a purposeful approach to important conversations and an easy way to level up the quality of your communication with your teammates.
We call that BOSSY!