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How to Conduct Critical Conversations:: The PCA PREDICT™ Model: Part 1

Some conversations are both immensely challenging and critical to your success, either as an individual or as an organisation. With these conversations, you simply can’t afford to just leave to chance whether you achieve your desired outcome from them.

If these challenging and critical conversations go wrong, they can have a hugely damaging impact on your future relationships. This holds true whether these relationships are with your work peers, line managers, team members, clients, friends or even family members.

The challenge of such a conversation might be the nature of the issue you want to discuss. It might also involve the context of the situation, or perhaps even pre-existing difficulties with the person you wish to converse with. Such challenging conversation scenarios could include anlude an executive peer-to-peer appraisal, a behavioural based feedback discussion or a key client conversion conversation. They could even include a discussion of a difficult friendship issue, or a family dispute that needs resolution.

In any event, what you need is a systematic and structured framework that allows you to prepare for and then successfully conduct such conversations. By using this framework, you can be secure in the knowledge that you can stay in control of each stage of the conversation process. You can also make some clear choices about how to drive the conversation towards a successful conclusion that is consistent with the outcome you wanted.

And that’s where PCA’s PREDICT™ model comes in.

Before we go through each stage of the PCA PREDICT™ model, it’s worth noting that we developed it by drawing on more than 20 years of combined personal communication training experience. This experience involved training senior executives in professional services firms, in FTSE 100 companies and in other leading international corporates. It also involved us working with academics and neuroscientists over the last 4 years.

Essentially, the PCA PREDICT™ model has evolved out of us practising literally thousands of challenging and critical conversations in a huge variety of contexts and applications. Furthermore, these conversations were practised with an extensive range of clients, all of whom needed to find a consistent approach to achieving win:win outcomes for the most difficult of situations.

This is the first article in a three-part series. In the second article of this series, we’ll be providing a headline summary explanation of each of these seven stages of the PCA PREDICT™ model. In the third and final article of the series, we’ll be discussing nuance and variation within the model.

In addition, we’ll be following up this series with a series of separate blogs, where we’ll go into each stage of PCA PREDICT™ in more detail. You’ll then be able to pick and choose which of these stages you’d like to know more about.