working conversations

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Post on 11-Nov-2014




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Business is mostly about dealing with change. And although consultants like us will try to suggest that we are surrounded by the need for transformational change it might just be that it's better for us mere mortals to focus on making incremental improvements. Our pitch here is to get away from the notion of coaching, where there are power based roles - a coach and a coachee, and simply focus on taking part in a conversation. We outline a menu of options for taking part - like a four course meal with four options for each course. We hope you find the choices both appealing and nutritious! Comments, mods and challenges are welcome


  • 1. Working conversations Building a repertoire for working effectively with others
  • 2. Its about repertoire A stock of plays, dances, or items that a company or a performer knows or is prepared to perform. A stock of skills or types of behaviour that a person habitually uses
  • 3. And context Context depends on the way we make sense of situations old is this person?
  • 4. Repertoire is a response to context. Remove the traffic controls and drivers, cyclists and pedestrians have to think and work with each other in real time rather than simply obeying orders. Result - fewer accidents and faster flowing traffic
  • 5. 4 conversations Create your repertoire of working conversations by choosing from 4 menus: 4 phases in a conversation 4 ways of taking part 4 things to explore
  • 6. 4 conversations 1 Introducing repertoire 2 Aligning with repertoire 3 Enlarging repertoire 4 Managing our own repertoire Aims and goals: Assess the experience of the person youre working with in relation to the demands of the situation Decide what sort of conversation fits best
  • 7. Introducing repertoire: on the job methods, skills and knowledge
  • 8. Aligning with repertoire: making sense of the signs that point out the working context. Exploring how to be effective as the context unfolds.
  • 9. Enlarging repertoire: encouraging people to explore the territory beyond their comfort zone
  • 10. Managing our own repertoire: working on our ability to make sense of situations and respond to changes in context
  • 11. 4 phases in a conversation 1 Situation 2 Leverage 3 Options 4 Who, what, when Aims and goals: Assess the need for you to be in control of the conversation and who should be doing most of the talking Decide if is this a follow on or new territory The two ends of the spectrum: an open ended exploration or an issue to put on the table
  • 12. Situation: establishing whats going on - the strands and issues in the current situation
  • 13. Leverage: uncovering aspirations and working out the sort of changes that will make a difference to the situation
  • 14. Options: designing what could be done - coming up with a number of ways of changing the situation
  • 15. Who, what, when: choosing from the options and sorting out who will be doing what and when they will do it
  • 16. 4 ways of taking part 1 Expert 2 Guide 3 Developer 4 Catalyst Aims and goals: Establish where you want to make an impact is it a case of doing things differently (expert/guide) or thinking differently (developer/ catalyst)?
  • 17. Expert: the conversation revolves around action - step by step detail of how to handle the situation
  • 18. Guide: the conversation is mostly focused on enlarging and exploring the options and choices in the situation
  • 19. Developer: the conversation is aimed at clarifying goals - what are we trying to achieve in this situation?
  • 20. Catalyst: the conversation is focused on sparking new thoughts and creating fresh opportunities
  • 21. 4 things to explore 1 Context 2 Capability 3 Climate 4 Capacity Context Capability Climate Capacity Aims and goals: Clarify the sort of issue you think should be the subject of the conversation? Strategic? Operational? Cultural? Personal?
  • 22. Context: the bigger picture, industry dynamics, business goals
  • 23. Capability: Methods and systems, technical knowledge, end to end effectiveness
  • 24. Climate: Habits and norms, management style, decision taking
  • 25. Capacity: Roles and skills, personal responsibility, untapped potential
  • 26. Select a path and shape the way you take part 4 conversations 4 phases in the conversation 4 ways of taking part 4 things to explore
  • 27. Jon Kendall @jon_kendall