Difficult conversations 10 – Henry V

The final episode in the series on Difficult Conversations. Shakespeare’s Henry V is best know for his heroic speeches. We focus on his willingness to change his own behaviour to learn from his army. Here are all the episodes.

Difficult Conversations 8: Tilts

Instead of giving people lots of (questionable) advice on how to have a difficult conversation we often prefer to give small “tilts”. A tilt is one simple thing to focus on when performing; often it can trigger all sorts of useful discoveries. Full set of videos here. Bonus link: Trusting learning will emerge.

Difficult Conversations 7 – Shared Peril

If everyone in a group feels they are sharing in a challenge it can be quite a powerful experience. But there are potential downsides too. If the challenge isn’t really shared but used as an opportunity for some in the group to establish status over others, things can go awry. Likewise, if people feel press-ganged […]

Difficult conversations part 6 – Meeting room vs kitchen

So here’s the next video on Difficult Conversations (you can find the whole set here.) Kay and I have a bit of fun looking at the difference between surface politeness in formal meetings and the earthier version that comes out afterwards. Some of the best conversations happen when we manage to merge the streams a […]

Difficult conversations part 5 – getting over ourselves

In the latest episode Kay Scorah and I talk about the idea of “getting over ourselves”. That can often sound like a rude instruction, but it’s possible to frame all learning as a process of leaving behind old ideas of who we are – ideas to which we can get rather attached. We talk a […]

Teach people or get a better process? Both and neither

Nancy Dixon condenses years of practice and experience into a single post: What Makes Organizational Conversations Effective? Participant Skill or Skillful Design?. I guess the very short answer to the question is: both. And I know Viv will be cheering this bit: The most effective way to have learningful conversations in an organization is to disrupt […]

Prime time TV wisdom for difficult conversations

There are a couple of TV shows I’ve seen lately that remind me of the difficult conversations process. In The Chase, a team of players compete against a quiz show wunderkind. They usually lose. The host always ends the show with the challenge to others to “come and have a go if you think you’re […]

Difficult conversations, part 4

Here’s the latest espisode on Difficult Conversations. (Parts One Two and Three). I made this one with my friend Kay Scorah. We talk about arguments like “who left the top off the toothpaste tube” and why we may need to embrace the fact that we appear to fall out over apparently trivial things. When I […]

London workshop: Difficult Conversations

I’m going to run a one-day workshop on Difficult Conversations in London on February 20th. I’m doing with this my friend and collaborator Kay Scorah. As we say in the blurb… In this workshop we’ll encourage participants to experiment with different ways to have challenging conversations. With a big emphasis on playfully trying stuff out, […]