The conversational cocktail every leader needs to know how to mix. Part two

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationships, which depends on the quality of conversations” Judith E. Glaser

The three conversational ingredients and how we use them

Transactional talking

We use this to Confirm what we already know. We tell others and ask them the sort of questions that check they have understood, or will comply. We use it to exchange information, for updating or keeping people in the loop, for directing them. Confirm helps us develop our point of view.

Positional talking

We use this to Defend what we know. We seek to influence others, by advocating on behalf of our point of view, and enquiring about theirs. However, our questions tend to be ones we already know the answers to. We Defend because we don’t live in the same world as the other person and have our own perspectives about how to navigate successfully in our world.

Many companies never get beyond Transactional and Positional conversations. We also know that 90% of conversations miss their mark

Transformational talking

We use this to Discover what we don’t know we don’t know. We Share and Discover together, opening up broader insights and wisdom than either of us now has. We ask questions to which we have no answers to explore and develop insights. Our stance is one of curiosity and openness. The spirit of Discovery leads to a chemical shift in our brain and opens our ability to engage with others at a deeper level. It is the cornerstone of trust.

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