“It became quickly
apparent that whether at home socially or professionally at work,
conversation is the foundation for our relationships in all these arenas.
I came away excited and eager to practise the new skills, and with a
thirst for more. I wish everyone could go to a course like this.”
Wendy Hiron Queensland Health
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Conversational Coaching is important to
every office supervisor and manager. I was able to learn skills that count
in day-to-day issues and would like to see this clinic go for 3 days!.
Keep up the good work!”
Michael Dore Queensland Transport.
What People Say...
about our Programs
Mastering the Power of Constructive
An introduction to
Conversational Coaching Clinics by Bill Cropper - The Change Forum
dig down into what leaders do day-in and day-out, they spend a lot of time
having conversations. One recent survey suggested as much as up to 80%.
Leaders plan, co-ordinate, decision-make, conduct meetings, monitor
performance, manage relationships –
and they do all this through conversations.
Whether building a business, leading change,
dealing with difficult discussions, revitalising a team, energising
classrooms, coping constructively with complaints or creating an exceptional
customer service climate, we dramatically underestimate the role
conversations play in our lives – both at work and at home.
If conversations aren’t effective, coordination
breaks down, mistakes multiply, relationships suffer and productivity
plummets. When you think of it this way, having good conversations takes on
a whole new meaning! The ability to conduct more skilful and collaborative
conversations becomes an indispensable leadership tool – and a prime measure
of leadership capability!
Taking this further, you can even reframe the definition of what an
organisation is – not just a network of coordination and cooperation –
they’re networks of conversations! It’s difficult then, to escape the
conclusion that the quality of conversations leaders and managers have is
one of the key elements for the effective functioning of any organisation.
Take away conversations as the medium through which things get done and most
things wouldn’t get done at all!
The essential actions
leaders take happen almost entirely through conversations – but most of us
never stop to think how we might become better at them. Conversations set
the emotional tone and build the positive working relationships that
ultimately determine the performance culture of a workplace.
Through conversations, we
connect with others, inspire, influence, empathise, energise, and move
people to action
They’re the major forum where
we build relationships, make decisions, solve problems, take action and
The quality of conversations
leaders have is a telling indicator of team culture, leadership climate
and change success
It’s one of the key elements
for the effective functioning of any team or organisation
And conversations are the
playing field where leaders most visibly exercise their own level of
personal mastery, mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
The Conversational Nature of Leadership...
Conversations are simply too important for leaders to ignore. In fact,
leadership can be defined as “a string of conversations” – and the calibre
of conversations you engage in is one of the key indicators for the
effective functioning of your teams. Knowing when and how to use
different conversational tools is therefore a vital element for personal
mastery, inspirational leadership and business success – no matter what
kind of business you're in! Think of all the leadership tasks you
achieve through conversations. There’s:
The Change Conversation:
answers the question - Why are we changing? You can’t motivate people to
change without first addressing the WHY
The Vision Conversation:
where we shape shared visions, talk powerfully about change opportunities,
reinforce the direction or mobilise commitment
Conversation: where leaders identify and agree crucial goals or
performance challenges and the strategies to achieve them
Conversation: where obstacles, issues and dilemmas are clarified and
solutions get sorted out and actioned
The Coaching Conversation:
engaging people in personal improvement dialogues to identify goals and
mentor them through action and reflection
The Connective Conversation:
where leaders help others understand their emotional reactions and feeling
patterns about events that happen at work
Conversation: helping teams work better together – identify
challenges, obstacles and ways to maintain good team functioning
It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that
conversations are the leadership cement that bonds everything else together
in organisations. Take away conversations as the medium through which we get
things done and most things wouldn’t get done at all!
The Leader as Conversational Coach...
As a leader, you’re the role
model for the way conversations happen in your place. All leaders need to
become ‘conversational coaches’. Your ability to conduct more skilful,
conversations is really an indispensable leadership tool!
If we don’t create a
conversational work culture – and give people the chance to learn how to
have better, more skilful discussions – can we really expect them to
participate at will in the conversations we want to have with them – when we
want to have them?
Conversational leadership is a subtle process. Effective leaders see the
conversations they have not only as an opportunity to advance their own
agendas, but as a means to express and share feelings, strengthen
relationships, generate ideas and build commitment to agreed action.
Managers need to guide, shape
and extend discussions without taking too much control
They need to persuasively put
their own view while also being open to other’s views
They need to encourage inquiry,
yet also contribute as a colleague alongside others
Many managers have difficulty with this. After all, you’ve spent a lifetime
learning how to be a forceful advocate - how to get your point across and
argue strongly for your view. This kind of collaborative conversation is new
territory for many of us. In their role as conversational coaches,
conversational tools to raise the level of frank, open interchange of
views in their teams
skilful discussion and dialogue about
the issues that matter
other’s views constructively and respectfully in ways that don’t raise
defensiveness and do result in creative synergy and shared meaning
playing’, ‘defensive routines’, avoidance, resistance and other
evasive conversational tactics people employ
from debate and adversarialism to collaborative conversation
supportive conversational climate – build rapport, a sense of positive
self-regard and make it psychologically safe for people to participate
and judgement and appreciate ideas from everywhere
thinking energy to get the best results and learn from each other, by
reflecting on how we approach problems and question each other’s
Are open to
diversity and different ways of doing things – all perspectives are
valued and opposing views are welcomed as part of the process of dialogue
and developing shared meaning
Are open to
challenge, low on defensiveness, and keep inviting people into the
conversational process – no-one feels diminished or alienated
with people – they have free-flowing 'dialogues' and avoid debate or
disproving conversations where they show up another person as
wrong-headed, obstructed or not worthy of consideration
Conversational Coaching for Leadership
Change Forum delivers a series of
practical conversational coaching clinics
for leaders who understand the importance of being able to converse with
awareness and versatility as critical qualities for effective productive
leadership. Our clinics translate complex theory into down-to-earth
concepts and easy-to-apply tools with real-life examples and plenty of
practise opportunities to try-out ways to engage people in more positive,
effective and constructive conversations. Our public series of
conversations clinics include:
Leading through Conversations – our foundation
clinic for conversational mastery – is a 2-day practise-intensive program
for current and emerging leaders that takes you through
Principles for Constructive Conversation essential to
building conversational awareness, flexibility and adaptability to
strengthen and enrich your leadership approach.
Dealing with Difficult
Discussions continues to be one of our most popular
coaching clinics, focusing on a process and tools to turn destructive
confrontation into constructive conversation. This targeted program
takes a progressive path following a
7-Stage Roadmap for taking the heat
out of hard talks. Usually presented as a 2-day clinic though
available in a 1-day fast-track format for in-house clients.
Conversations is a 1-day master class that provides you
frameworks and carefully-crafted conversational formulas for delivering
fact-based feedback and help build your confidence and competence in
dealing with low performers.
Confidence – is a unique
for anyone who would like to feel more comfortable and confident in all
variety of speaking situations
and generally have better, more satisfying
interactions – at work and elsewhere... Whatever level or role you are in,
these easy-to-use tools and techniques help to reduce conversational
anxiety and support speaking with more clarity, certainty and influence..
Like all of our programs, our conversational coaching clinics:
Take a tool-kit
based approach: Each clinic equips you with a set of simple, effective
and easy-to-learn tools to enhance the quality of your conversations and
widen the range of discussions you can have in all sorts of settings –
one-on-one, meetings, problem-solving sessions and team discussions.
Come with a
substantial self-directed Guide to support your ongoing learning after
the coaching clinic – containing simple explanations of key conversational
concepts, step-by-step outlines of tools with tips to apply them as well
as scaffolding to construct your own coaching program.
Focus on actual
tools: We keep our theory-breaks slim. After all, you can read about
how to improve your conversations anywhere. We think people learn best
through doing – so the focus of our clinics is on giving you actual
practice and building confidence to use the tools back in real-life
practising in a safe environment: When you’re back at work, you seldom
get a safe environment to practise in. In work conversations, you’re under
pressure ‘playing the game’ – there’s no time to reflect, it’s too risky
to try out a new tool or approach and you rarely get feedback about your
conversational behaviour. Part of the appeal of our clinics is you get to
practise in a safe, small group environment to develop new strategies for
managing your conversations in a more mindful and effective manner.
real-life conversational challenges: We address the real
conversational challenges you face, adapting the content of each clinic to
cover major areas of need or interest.
+61-(0)7-4068 7591 or
Mob: +61-(0)429-687 513
Bill Cropper - The Change Forum
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