Another month, another fabulous CRF event – this time, a Masterclass focusing on Better Conversations. As well as having the pleasure of hosting a breakfast during the event (more of which later), we were able to gain some great insights from the Leadership Forum’s Wanda Wallace.

Wanda delved into what makes business conversations productive. Seems easy? Not so. At every level of business, in any type of organisation, great conversations can be really difficult to achieve.

Productive conversations simply don’t work without connections. They require rapport, clarity about goals and a good level of trust. They also require all parties to keep defensiveness low – which can be a real challenge for many individuals.

Wanda showed that the best outcomes happen when each party understands the perspective of other person, suspends their own judgement and is willing to adapt. Critically, though, they need to understand their own intentions, emotions and ‘mental model’.

For us, the key take-away was to prepare, prepare, prepare – we need to develop our own practises and think about the other parties we interact with. This applies as much to our own individual roles as it does to the advice and services we offer to our clients.

It was fitting, therefore, that our breakfast took the discussion a step further to reflect the work we do with businesses every day.  We focused not on how to have great conversations, but on how you know if they’re working.

How can we be sure that the conversations we have, whether day-to-day or more high-level and strategic, are being done well and achieving our goals?

A critical measure here is based around ‘moments of truth’ – key points throughout the employee lifecycle that are conversation-based. How can we measure the outcome of these conversations, and use the results to improve?

There are some essential questions that we need to address before we can provide definitive answers. We shared these with our audience – take a look below. How does your organisation measure up?

  • How well has your organisation mapped your employee journey(s)?
  • How well does your organisation understand the moments of truth in the employee journey?
  • Which moments of truth are related to conversations?
  • Which of these conversations can your organisation control – which can it influence?
  • How well are these controllable / influenceable conversations measured and managed?

We’ve worked through these steps with a wide range of clients to make significant improvements to the success of their conversations – and to their wider employee engagement measures.  If you think your organisation is ready to take the next steps to do the same, we’d love to hear from you – you can email us right now to get the ball rolling!

Sean Mills / Director

Michael Frantl / Associate Director