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Structure conversations for results

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

If your conversations with coworkers and employees almost never lead to the results you want, you may be missing key components to the conversation.

Structure your conversations so that your listeners receive the message you intend—and you receive the results you want.

Here are four steps that will help you structure more clear and powerful conversations:

  1. Make an emotional connection. To advance your agenda, it’s important to advance everyone else’s agenda. First, ask how others are feeling, actively listen and encourage them to open up.
  2. Uncover the facts. Conversations tend to quickly move from facts to inferences and assertions. Rather than focus on opinions and assumptions, probe to find out as many true details as you can.
  3. Share solutions and ideal scenarios. In the best conversations, the “leader” and the “follower” build off one another’s ideas and create newer, deeper insights and possibilities.
  4. Agree to a resolution. This is the final, crucial point of the conversation: getting a mutual commitment to action—and confirming it. Without confirmation, you can’t be sure the other person or people are in agreement and will take ownership of the assignment.

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