In our previous blog, we explored making a fundamental shift in perspective to begin seeing your company as a large network of many conversations.

From this fresh perspective you can view the culture that currently exists as primarily comprised of people speaking and listening. The generation of a new, future culture can be seen as creating and attending to this network of conversations.

Within all the communications that happen in any company, there are five foundational conversations which, when guided and fostered, can inspire transformational leadership and accomplishment in yourself and your colleagues.

These five conversations form the foundation for providing transformational leadership and give you access to effectively guiding a culture change.

These are conversations for:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Opening new possibilities or insights
  3. Seeing new opportunities
  4. Generating effective actions
  5. Uncovering and resolving breakdowns

To begin with, what do we mean by conversations for establishing relationship within your company?

  • They allow you and your colleagues to more fully understand each other’s commitments and concerns, and ideally, to hear the heart of what really matters to each other.
  • They call on you to be more interested in listening rather than speaking.
  • The focus is on leaving your co-workers with a sense of being heard at a deeper level than in the ordinary conversations.

This relationship piece of the conversation doesn’t push toward some particular outcome or result. Yet if done authentically, it will lead naturally to enhanced communication, cooperation, action, and results.

One example that executives sometimes use to generate this kind of communication is called the “coffee talk”. James Rogers, when CEO of Cinergy (before it became Duke Energy), initiated a series of “listening sessions” with groups up to 100 participants from various parts of the company.

During one session a worker brought up an issue regarding uneven compensation in a particular division. Rogers said this was something he could and would actually fix. Without this listening session it might have taken a very long time to get this communication to him in the organization. (Talk, Inc. Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind)

Investing yourself in listening openly to hear people’s commitments and requirements to do outstanding work, you build a foundation for the future.

This is not talk that only goes through the motions and is cheap. This speaking and listening makes a positive impact that lasts. The larger and deeper this foundation of relationships, the more opportunity for outstanding accomplishments and results emerge.

Who can you listen to this week with the intent of hearing their commitments and actions do a great job? Have a “coffee talk” to build new relationship.

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