How To Have Powerful Conversations

Communication Skills and Relationship Training For Managers and Team Leaders

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Habit Transformation

Embrace new, effective communication skills, feeling empowered and confident in conversations.

Emotional Intelligence

Master emotional intelligence for better relationships and conversations, enhancing your professional career.

Practical Skillset

Achieve real-world proficiency with hands-on experience and personalised coaching, until you feel capable.

Refine your communication skills by learning to harness your emotional intelligence with one of the UK's most acclaimed management training courses.

Why Choose This Training?

More Than Just A Course Of Lectures

What gets in the way of developing and holding on to new communication skills are old habits of thinking and speaking. Even if the advice is very good the reason why it rarely sticks are the mental habits people inevitably revert to, especially under pressure.

Unlearning those old habits and internalising a more effective and lasting approach to communication needs more than a short course of lectures on how to do it.

What Makes This Training Stand Out?

What makes this training stand out is the exceptional support through one-to-one coaching sessions and continuous feedback. Changing behaviour is not an easy task as old habits are hard to break.

With a 40-year track record we can help you cultivate practical skills, and build your confidence to so you can successfully navigate real-world challenges, ensuring lasting behavioural improvements.


Join thousands of participants getting results

"What I love about this course is that I didn't just learn about the topic, this course is about ME.  I'm confident I can reliably use my new skills, even when under pressure".

5 stars

A Project Manager At A Tech Company

"A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listening with empathy" and "speaking assertively"

5 stars

A Project Quality Engineer

Clients We Have Worked With

Well-known companies who have used this course again and again, over many years

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  • BBC
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  • Civil service
  • NHS 2
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  • IGT
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  • BP 2
  • FBN 2

Course Summary

Training Objectives

Ever felt like you're talking, but not really connecting? Powerful conversations aren't just about chit-chat; they can forge bonds that last. I'm here to share secrets on turning every chat into a conversation that counts, with tools and tips even a shy speaker can use.

On this course we’ll teach you how to transform the way you talk with others.  You’ll learn how to listen with empathy to really understand what the other person is saying, which helps avoid misunderstandings and builds trust. Be assertive without being aggressive to express your own ideas while still respecting others' opinions. Ask lots of questions, especially open-ended ones, as they encourage deeper discussion and show that you're interested in the conversation. Prepare for conversations by thinking of topics or questions beforehand, which can be helpful for introverts or shy individuals. Use a positive attitude and smile to make yourself approachable and create a friendly atmosphere during discussions.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

You will learn a set of powerful emotional intelligence communication techniques so that you can manage difficult conversations, handle challenging situations, build relationships and set firm boundaries.

Transferable Skills

The goal of this training is to equip you with the tools they need to build strong, lasting relationships in your professional life, although because these skills are so transferable many clients report vast improvements in their personal relationships as well.

Develop Skills

This is a skills development rather than just a theoretical programme, so the emphasis throughout will be on you taking turn after turn, practising your skills, while receiving feedback and coaching about your effect on others.

Repeated Practice and Feedback

In your coaching sessions you will be helped to practise dealing with the kinds of situation you find challenging, again and again, until you are confident you can do it successfully.

Video Analysis

We'll combine practical, hands-on experience with video replay and analysis and discussion of the principles involved to help you gain both skills and understanding. Special attention is paid to your individual training needs, so you can practise your skills in real-life situations that you have to handle at work.

Sustained Change

That's why as well as your place in a small group, this training includes a generous amount of private and confidential one-to-one coaching sessions online, spread over several months, ensuring an exceptional level of support. This will ensure the changes you make are sustained over a longer period of time and any obstacles are overcome. Choose between online training available worldwide, or in-person face-to-face courses in the UK.

Course Dates and Price

For a list of upcoming course dates (for online coaching and face-to-face training), the locations of the next 3-day public courses in the UK and pricing Click here.

Free Initial Session

This initial coaching session serves as an introduction to the "Skills with People" course, allowing you to understand the course's relevance and effectiveness for your specific needs before committing to it.

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EQ training

Understanding the Art of Conversation

So, you want the lowdown on mastering chitchat, right? Here's a teaser - understanding the art of conversation is about so much more than nattering away. It's like a dance where every step matters – from twirling in active listening to sashaying with assertiveness, without stomping on anyone's toes.

On this course you’ll explore how to turn simple exchanges into powerful conversations how high up that pack a punch!

Active listening with empathy

Listening with your feelings, that's what it means to listen with empathy. You're not just hearing the words; you’re feeling them too. Picture this: someone’s talking and you’re nodding along, really getting what they’re saying.

It's like a superpower for conversations because people can tell when you care.

Now, put yourself in their shoes. That's the trick to nailing empathic listening skills. Imagine how they feel as they talk about their pet dog or a big test coming up – it makes all the difference! Doing this helps avoid those misunderstandings and builds trust faster.

It's worth giving it a try next time you chat with someone.  On this course we’ll show you how to do it without running the risk of sounding patronising.

Assertiveness without being aggressive

Being assertive is like walking a fine line – it's about being clear with what you want, but not stepping on anyone's toes. It’s standing your ground while holding the door open for others' views to come in.

You tell folks straight up what’s on your mind, but do it with respect and care, making sure everyone feels heard. Assertiveness isn't just important; it lets you stick up for yourself without stealing someone else's shine.

Think of it as speaking your truth calmly and confidently. Picture this: you express exactly how you see things, laying out your needs like cards on the table, but guess what? You're also tuned into the vibes around you – ready to listen and adapt if needed.

That means no bulldozing over anyone or getting all fired up when things get tricky. You stay cool and collected, always playing fair, yet letting people know where the line is drawn when push comes to shove. In other words you’ll be able to be firm on the issue, while being kind to the other person.  Assertiveness without aggressiveness.

Asking and answering questions

Good chat sparks big ideas. Ask loads of questions – they're keys to learning and close connections. Properly prepped, a smart question shows you've done your homework. It's not about judging; it's all for understanding better.

Keep the questions open, let other people answer in their own way. Follow up on what they say; that keeps the talk flowing strong. They'll feel heard and safe, and together you might start thinking new ways no one expected!

Having an intention for the conversation

Know what you want out of the chat. It's like having a map so you don't get lost or stuck in awkward silence. You start by trying to really understand them. Then, speak your mind with "I" statements to keep things clear and friendly.

This way, each word moves the conversation towards your goal.

For example, if you're aiming to get advice from someone at work, make it clear right away. Say something like "I'd love your thoughts on …” This opens up space for them to share their knowledge without guessing what you need.

Keeping an intention helps everyone involved and makes sure no one is fumbling around unsure of what’s happening next!

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People can't help arguing when they feel misunderstood

Tips for Succeeding at Conversations

There’s a bit of finesse involved, once you’ve got these cheeky tricks up your sleeve … you're pretty much set.

Ask lots of questions

Asking questions shows you're paying attention and that you care. It's like opening doors in a conversation—every question can lead to new information and stronger bonds. Think about it as if you're on a treasure hunt, where each question brings you closer to the 'aha!' moments.

So, be curious! You can also add in empathy (your best guess as to how that made them feel).  Even though it’s a statement they’ll still hear it as a question.  Or you could ask "What happened next?". Questions help us learn and grow professionally too. They say leaders who ask more are often the ones who zoom ahead because they get the full picture.

Plus, people love talking about what matters to them - it makes conversations pop with energy and authenticity!


A smile does a lot in any chat. It makes things friendly and easy to start talking. When you flash a grin, others see you as open and trustworthy. Plus, it's like magic for your brain – smiling can make you feel happier even if you're a bit down or stressed out.

Keep those smiles coming while the other person talks too! A quick nod with that smile tells them you get what they're saying.

Remember, positive vibes go far when making small talk shine. Now, just as eye contact helps build trust..

Make eye contact

Making good eye contact shows you're paying attention and respect the other person. Try to hold their gaze for most of the chat, but not too much - around 60–80%. This way, you connect without making them uncomfortable.

It's like a secret handshake that says "I'm here with you" without needing words. In work talks or when giving a talk, locking eyes can make it feel more like a two-way street.

Kids are naturals at this - they look into your eyes and boom! You feel that bond right away. It's pretty amazing how something so simple can help us click with others. Just be mindful; everyone's different so try to read what feels right for each conversation - not too little, not just staring, but just enough.

Now let’s talk about giving compliments..

Praise and give compliments

Praising and compliments are like little gifts of words that make people feel good. Picture this: you're chatting with someone, and out pops a nice comment about their work or ideas. It lifts the mood. That's because saying something nice shows you're paying attention.

It helps to create a friendly space where everyone feels valued.

Think about it – when someone tells you they like your contribution to a big piece of work, the way you solved a tricky problem, it just brightens your day. You can use this magic in conversations at work or anywhere else. If you can start by mentioning what's great before diving into criticism the other person is less likely to go on the defensive.

And don't fake it – you have to mean what you say, other wise the other person is going to feel manipulated.

Ask for advice or recommendations

Asking others for their advice shows that you value their thoughts. It keeps chats lively and makes people feel good. You might find it easier to ask someone you trust for tips or help on tricky stuff.

Let's say, when a conversation gets tough at work, knowing what to say can really smooth things out.

Chatting about what someone else thinks is also top-notch for learning new ways to handle big talks. Whether it's how best to guide your team or tackling a massive project, getting different views can open up fresh paths and ideas.

Plus, turning these powerful conversations into actions? That's where the real magic happens in both life and work!

Maintain a positive attitude

Smiling might seem simple, but it's powerful. It shows you're a confident person and ready to chat. Think about this: when you stay positive, even if things get tough, people notice.

They'll see you as someone they want to talk with more. Staying cheerful is not just good for your chats; it helps your career too. You never know – keeping that smile on could open doors to new job chances! Plus, a happy vibe makes the office a better place for everyone.

No one enjoyer having a grump around! Keep your head up and look on the bright side. This way, you build great connections with folks at work or anywhere else really. When others feel good talking to you, they'll remember that feeling next time around – this means more friends in high places! And who doesn't like making their day-to-day work life more fun?

Use the FORD method

Chatting with someone new can sometimes feel tricky, but the FORD method is like a secret map to great conversations. This cool trick stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams.

It helps you think of things to talk about that people usually like discussing. Talk about their family and friends - it makes people warm up and share stories. Dive into what they do for work or what they wish they could do - people often spend lots of time on their jobs or have big dreams there.

Flip the chat to fun stuff by asking about hobbies or sports - they’ll get excited telling you what makes them happy in free time. And don't forget about dreams; this part is special because it’s all about hopes and wishes for the future.

Use these four magic words as stepping stones, and watch how fast you'll connect with others! Plus, if you're running a business or trying to make more friends at work, using FORD gets people talking in ways that build trust - really good for making those valuable relationships stick.

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He's now far more aware of his impact on others

How to Make Every Conversation a Powerful One

Alright, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of transforming your chit-chats into game-changing powerful conversations – because when we chat with purpose, our words can open doors you never even knew were there.

Get comfortable with silence

You might find silence awkward at first. It can feel like a big empty space in talk that wants filling. But here's the thing - silence has power. It gives time for thoughts to bubble up and settle.

When you don't rush to fill the quiet, you give others a chance to think deeper and share more. Think of it as a sign of your respect, as you give the other person thinking time.

Ever noticed how some people seem okay with letting the room stay hush? They've got this superpower where they're at peace with pauses in chat. This calm lets everyone catch their breath and really get what’s being said.

So next time there's a lull, take it easy; let the silence do its work. You'll be surprised by what you learn just by listening!

Use empowering questions to advance both your leadership skills

Asking great questions can help see your business grow. That's the magic of using empowering questions—they unlock potential and get people thinking. Imagine you're chatting with a team member about their project.

Instead of just asking "How’s it going?", try "What part of your work excites you the most?" This opens up the conversation for deeper insights and can spark passion that drives better results.

At Pfizer's, employees tools they’ve seen how powerful questions work wonders in workshops designed to teach this very skill. By mastering these powerful conversation boosters, professionals are learning to engage more effectively - sharing ideas that propel careers forward.

It's like having a secret key to unlocking employee dedication and creativity; and guess what? Some top-notch coaching questions ready for action already exist! They’re built around the International Coach Federation (ICF) core leadership competencies too, so they're not just random; they're quality querstions crafted by experts to help leaders talk the talk and walk the walk toward success in today’s fast-paced business world.

Use different techniques for in-person and online conversations vs emails

Talking face-to-face lets us use body language and eye contact. We can nod, smile, or lean in to show we're listening. These little things help build strong bonds and show we care.

But with written chats, it's different. We can't rely on those cues. Instead, we type with purpose and use words to make feelings clear.

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She now feels more confident in tackling people

The Benefits of Having Powerful Conversations in the Workplace

When chatter turns to powerful conversations in the workplace, you're not just passing the time - you're crafting a ladder to scale up your career and enriching those nine-to-five relationships.

It's like adding an extra shot of espresso to your work interactions: suddenly, there's energy, productivity soars, and before you know it, everyone’s buzzing with that glow of satisfaction.

Building personal power

Talking well at work makes you stronger. It's like a muscle; the more you use good words, the better you get. You become a person others listen to and respect. When you chat in smart ways, it helps your career grow too.

You meet new people who can help you move up.

Strong chats make teams work better together and everyone gets more done. If people are happy talking with each other, they'll do their jobs better and faster. Now let's look at how these talks can change things for introverts or shy folks..

Advancing career growth through networking - operations senior leadership team

Networking is like a ladder for your career. You meet people, share ideas, and help each other climb higher. It's not just about swapping business cards or adding contacts online. Real networking means building relationships where you and the other person both win.

Imagine walking into a room full of folks who know things you don't - things that could open doors for you at work. By talking to them, asking about their jobs, and sharing what you do, you're planting seeds for future chances to grow your career.

And as these seeds sprout over time, they make a strong network that supports your steps up the career ladder.

It's all about connection! Making friends in your field can give you insights on how to get ahead and let others see how great you are at what you do. This way, when an opportunity comes knocking, your name might just be at the top of the list!

Improving work relationships and employee satisfaction

Building strong work relationships is key to feeling happy at your job. When people get along well, it makes the whole place better to be in. Chatting and sharing a laugh can turn a group of folks into a real team.

This teamwork then makes everyone do their jobs with more control, better and faster.

Feeling good about who you work with also means you'll likely stick around longer. It's nice going to work when you feel like friends are there too. And hey, when everyone’s chipping in together, big tasks don’t seem so tough anymore!

Enhancing efficiency and productivity

Chatting with your work colleagues can do wonders. It's like magic for getting things done faster and better. When folks talk well, they share ideas that make everything run smoother. Everyone knows what to do, and they crack on without tripping over each other’s feet.

Team chats aren't just nattering; they spark new thinking and get those creative juices flowing, which means the whole gang can achieve way more.

Having a good chinwag with your team is key in the workplace - it makes people happier at their desks or on the factory floor. Managers sitting down for one-on-one meetings with you? That's gold! It helps everyone understand how to be awesome at their jobs.

More smiles all around equals more work flying out the door—now that's a win-win if ever there was one!

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Learn how to be both firm and fair

Tips for Introverts or Shy Individuals

Navigating the social labyrinth can seem like a daunting quest for the introverts and shy souls among us, but fear not; with a sprinkle of preparation and dollops of curiosity, even the quietest wallflower can bloom into a conversational maestro – on this course you’ll learn to uncover how to wield your understated charm like a secret superpower.

Prepare conversation starters

Got a networking event? Oh no, your mind's running as blank as a whiteboard. Don't panic! Just prep some simple conversation starters before you step out. Think about stuff like recent films, books, or even cool places to eat.

Keep it light and easy to get the ball rolling.

For introverts – no shame in taking your time! Get together a list of good questions that can kick off chats without the sweat. This way, when someone drops by for a chat, you're ready to serve up something more than just a nervous smile.

It's all about making those moments count without the brain freeze.

Use closed and open-ended questions

Closed questions are like a quick handshake. They're short and get you a simple "yes" or "no." They help when you need a quick fact or decision. But, they don't really start big talks.

Now, open-ended questions – that's where the magic happens. These are your golden tickets to longer chats and getting to know people better.

Think about asking "What's your favourite game?" instead of just "Do you like sports?" The first one gives someone space to share more, maybe even tell a story. For introverts looking to make connections, these open-ended marvels can turn small talk into deep conversations.

So mix it up - use both types of questions; closed ones keep things clear, and open-ended ones add colour and depth to your talks.

Read body language and cues

Now, let's turn to body language and cues. This is big for introverts! Understanding nonverbal hints helps you figure out what someone truly feels. Maybe a friend's smile doesn't reach their eyes when they say they're fine – that can mean they're not really okay.

And if you notice this, gently asking more questions could help them open up.

Eye contact shows confidence and interest but can be tough if you're shy or introverted. If making eye contact feels too intense, try looking at the space between someone's eyes instead – it still shows you're paying attention without the pressure! Also, watch how others stand or move; this tells a lot about their thoughts and feelings.

For example, arms crossed over the chest might mean someone's on guard or unsure. Knowing these cues can really help boost your conversation game – even if talking isn't your favourite thing to do.

Be curious

Curiosity can open doors and build bridges in any chat. If you're on the shy side, think of it as your secret weapon. You might not talk much because that's just how you roll, but when you do ask a question, you show people you care about what they have to say.

It's helpful how asking about someone's favourite book or their dream holiday spot can turn a quiet moment into an awesome conversation.

For introverts at those big meet-ups where everyone seems to know each other, here’s a neat trick: get an outgoing buddy to break the ice for you. Once they've done the heavy lifting, jump in with your questions and let curiosity lead the way.

Keep things light and fun – who knows, by finding out more about someone else, you might learn something new about yourself too!

Be kind to yourself

Moving from curiosity, it's also about being gentle with yourself. This is true especially if you're on the shy side or an introvert. It's okay to take small steps and not be perfect.

You might feel nervous speaking up or worry about what people think of you. But guess what? That’s normal! The key thing is to give yourself a break. Letting go of harsh self-judgment allows your true personality to shine through.

It can be tough at times, feeling all that pressure to say the right thing. Yet, learning how to recharge and protect your energy helps a lot. Think of it like this - every time you talk kind to yourself, it's like handing a gift to your confidence.

Self-compassion has its superpowers, making it easier for you to connect with others and nurture and maintain valuable relationships in life and work alike.

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How aware are you of your effect on others?

Steps for Having powerful Conversations how high impact

Diving into the deep end, we've got some top-notch tactics to help you tackle those conversations that might have your palms sweating and heart racing - because when it's crunch time, skirting around the big issues just won't cut it. Once you've mastered this art, very little need phase you.

Recognising crucial conversations

Crucial conversations are the big ones, the kind powerful conversations where stakes are high and emotions run strong. Sometimes, they sneak up on you; other times, you see them coming from a mile away. Either way, they're game changers.

They can be about work or personal stuff – like a chat with your boss about your future or sorting out a tough problem with your team.

Getting ready for these chats is super important. Reset your motives before jumping in to keep things cool and productive. You want everyone to speak their truth while still being buds after it's all said and done.

So take that deep breath – know when it’s time to step up and have those brave talks that can really shake things up for the better.

Managing emotions and creating a safe space for dialogue

It's key to keep cool and share feelings without pointing fingers. This makes it safe for people to talk, even about hard stuff. A good chat at work needs honest sharing in a place where everyone trusts and respects each other.

Think about how you feel before diving into tough talks. You want to be straight up but not hurtful.

Now, picture this: you're open and real, yet no one feels attacked - that's the sweet spot for sorting things out. If emotions get too hot, take a breath, pause to make sure everyone's heard.

Speaking your mind takes courage, but doing it with care is what turns tricky conversations into teamwork magic.

Let's move on to speaking plainly while still being kind.

Speaking honestly without offending

Talking straight and keeping things cool go hand in hand. You've got to say what's on your mind, but make sure you're not stepping on toes. Think of it as walking a tightrope – keep your balance between being clear and kind.

Honesty keeps things from getting messy later because everyone knows where they stand.

Sometimes we need to chat about tough stuff, especially at work where the stakes are high. So take a deep breath and choose your words with care. This isn't just about making nice; it's about building trust that lasts.

Sure, shooting straight can feel like playing with fire – but remember, doing it right means no one gets burned.

Exploring others' perspectives

Listening to what others have to say is a big part of having brave talks. It's about making room for tough topics like fairness, race, and who has more chances. This way, everyone's view can come out and be understood.

To really get into somebody else's shoes, you need to keep it real and be open-minded. Trust and respect are the magic ingredients that make this work.

You've got to wear your heart on your sleeve, and be authentic if you want to grasp where someone else is coming from in these bold chats. As a manager guiding the team, being clear about what you're doing helps.

And don't forget - a chat where sides are shared clearly can turn tricky work stuff into smooth sailing! It’s all about knowing exactly what you want at the end of the convosation when sharing ideas gets courageous.

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Now he listens before jumping to conclusions

The Crucial Conversation Checklist

Here is the nitty-gritty with a Crucial Conversation Checklist – no waffle, just straight-up vital points for those heart-to-hearts that could turn hairy. Ever find yourself in a discussion that's teetering on the edge of 'Oh no, did I really just say that?' Fear not! Keep this checklist handy and you'll navigate through even the trickiest of meetings.

Approaching the conversation

Getting ready to talk can feel like a big deal, especially when the stakes are high. You've got this checklist in your head, and you know that how you start matters a lot. Picture yourself calmly walking into the room, or maybe it's just across the office floor.

Keep in mind that respect and fairness should be at the heart of your game plan; because everyone wants to be treated well.

Now, imagine getting those opening lines just right - you want to set up a safe space where everyone feels they can speak freely. Sticking with “I feel good about …”, and “I worry about …” statements will help keep you from sounding judgemental.

Speaking in this way is like having superpowers for conversations.

On this course we’ll show you exactly how/. You’ll be able to talk about the things that really count. It can make life at work smoother when we get these chats right. Now onto noticing when safety is at risk.

Noticing when safety is at risk

In powerful conversations, feeling safe means everyone can speak their mind without fear. But sometimes, things get tough and people might stop talking or start to argue. This is when safety is slipping away - and it's key we spot this early.

Look out for hints like silence or people getting heated. These signs tell us it’s time to empathise with the other person, which can make them feel understood and safe again. By doing so, we keep the talk open and honest, which really matters if we want to sort things out and move forward together.

Making it safe to share

Sometimes things might get a bit shaky. This is when you need to create a safe zone where everyone feels they can talk freely. Laying out your good intentions right at the start sets the stage for trust.

It's like saying, "Hey, I'm here to talk and really understand you," without any hidden tricks up your sleeve.

It's vital too, to keep that empathy through the whole conversation. Think about it as holding an umbrella over the conversation - keeping it dry from judgement or blame pouring down.

By staying in dialogue and letting others know their words are valued, you're building a fortress of comfort around them. Sharing then becomes less scary and more about connecting on a real level.

Mastering your stories and emotions

Getting a grip on your stories matters a lot. It's about keeping calm when chats get tough. You know, those moments when everything seems big and scary? High stakes and strong feelings are the signs of a crucial conversation.

So don't let wild thoughts run your show. Take charge of them instead.

Now, emotions can be sneaky little things that try to boss us around during serious talks. Pull apart what really happened from the tales you tell yourself.

Stick to what you know is true and watch how it cools down those heated feels. It’s like becoming a storytelling ninja; cool as a cucumber while spinning yarns that keep everyone chill.

Speaking honestly and exploring others' paths

After mastering our own stories and emotions, we move to being open and sincere. This is key in powerful conversations. You tell your truth but also listen to others.

We must understand where folks are coming from—what they want and need. The book "Connecting with people - Two crucial skills" tells us this is important during tough talks. So we chat clearly, share our feelings, and really hear what others have to say.

This way, we build trust and make every word count towards something good.

Turning conversations into actions

Talk leads to action. First, you've got to focus on what everyone wants out of the conversation and how high impact leaders are. What's the plan for how high impact leaders are? Once that's sorted, lay down steps that can turn those talky bits into real-deal actions.

Think about it like a recipe - you’ve mixed all the good stuff together and now you’re ready to bake something awesome.

Chop up the whole thing into tasks people can handle - one person does this bit; another tackles that part. It keeps things clear and ticking along nice and smooth. And hey, don’t forget empathy and positive intent—they're like secret spices making sure everything ends up tasty for everyone involved.

Now, with your conversation checklist in hand - and some smart prep work - those words will start doing rather than just being said. You’ll see people nodding along because they know exactly where they stand and what they’ve gotta do next.

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People used to be scared of him - no longer

The Power of Listening with Empathy in Conversations

And here's the thing – when we truly listen, it's like a superpower; it opens doors to people’s hearts and minds that might've stayed shut tighter than a drum. So why not dive deeper into this game-changer?

Active listening techniques

Mastering active listening is a top skill for powerful conversations. Focus on the person talking – really focus. Nod your head and make little sounds like "hmm" or "I see" isn’t enough to show you're tuned in.

You’ll need to paraphrase, summaries and empathise to show them you’re really on their wavelength.  Don't jump in with judgments or try to fix things straight away.

Remember bits of what they say.  If you can later on, bring it up again, you’ll be able to watch them light up because you cared enough to hold onto their words. Keep practicing every chance you get. These skills will hale you sharpen up your chat game and help build solid connections at work or anywhere else for that matter.

Using empathy to tune in on their wavelength

Active listening sets the stage for empathy - it's like a bridge that helps us walk into someone else's shoes. We lean in, not just with our ears but with our whole self. It's about reflecting back what we hear and showing that we get how they feel.

This bond of understanding doesn't happen by chance; it grows from really paying attention to their words and feelings.

Sometimes, it looks like nodding or saying, "I see," when someone shares something important. Or maybe it’s pausing before you speak to make sure you've grasped the heart of their message. Sometimes it’s simply saying, “I imagine you feel such-and-such, because …”.

Tuning in on another person's wavelength means making them feel heard and valued - that’s what builds powerful conversations and strong connections.

Asking clarifying questions

So you're deep in a chat and hit a fuzzy spot. What to do? You could summarise, paraphrase and empathise which all certainly help.  Another option is to jump in with clarifying questions! These are your secret sauce for making sure everyone's on the same page. Imagine someone's explaining a big plan at work, but you're not quite getting it.

Asking a question like "Could you walk me through that part again?" This will show you're listening and care about what they're saying.

Use these questions to dig deeper, too. Say your colleague is venting about their day – ask something like "What happened next?" or guessing “I imagine you felt …" will tell them you really want to know more.

Plus, it helps clear up any mix-ups before they grow into bigger problems.

Paraphrasing to show understanding

Paraphrasing isn't just about repeating words; it's like a secret handshake in conversations that says, "Hey, I get you." It's super powerful. Imagine someone tells you their big dream and you rephrase it back to them.

What you're doing is showing deep respect for their thoughts and feelings. You're not just nodding along—you're right there with them, digging into what they mean.

When conflict hits - paraphrasing is a big help. It helps cool things down. By reflecting someone else’s words in your own way, it shows you’re really trying to grasp what they’re getting at.

This can turn a tricky conversations into something productive where everyone feels heard. That’s how great leaders become good at communicating - they listen actively, then paraphrase to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.

Responding effectively

So, you've shown that you understand by paraphrasing what they said. Now, it's time to respond well. You can do this by nodding and saying things like "I see" or "Got it". This tells them you're still with them.

Also, mix in how their words make you feel or what they mean for the team. That way, people know you really get where they're coming from.

Remember to keep your ears open and heart ready when someone else is talking. It helps build a bridge between thoughts and feelings in your chats. When the talk turns tough, stay cool and kind.

Your goal is to create a space where everyone feels safe enough to say what's true for them without fear of getting hurt.

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1. What makes a conversation powerful?

A conversation becomes powerful when it's goal-oriented, clear, and has a massive impact. Think of how senior leaders chat to get things done - that's the kind of talk we mean!

2. Can anyone learn to have these impactful chats?

Absolutely! With the right tools, like emotional intelligence and some leadership development skills, even you can become great at having conversations that really make a real difference.

3. How do these strong talks help in leadership roles?

Well, if you're in operations senior leadership team sitting at the top—like a senior vice president or managing director—you'll need to communicate well! It helps maintain valuable working relationships, and achieve exceptional results.

4. Are there any books about this stuff?

Sure thing—one thoughtful book is by Phil Gould; he knows heaps about this topic and shares real-life examples from big names in business.

5. Do I need special training for this?

Training always helps! Our programs can help you hone both your leadership skills and abilities and mastering these powerful conversation skills. You won't need a leadership assessment instrument, just a free initial coaching session. 

6. Does talking powerfully only work in businesses?

Not at all - it works everywhere! Whether you're chatting with someone from government agencies or just trying to make sense of social and economic policy—it all counts.

7. What is the significance of leadership development in the fast-forward world?

Leadership development is essential in today's fast-forward world as it equips leaders with the necessary leadership skills and competencies to navigate the rapidly changing business world, achieve exceptional results, and communicate their massive agenda effectively.

8. How can leaders talk about their massive agenda using powerful conversations?

Leaders can talk about their massive agenda by engaging in powerful conversations that include real-life examples and goal-oriented strategies. These conversations greatly enhance their ability to deliver unprecedented results and achieve high-impact leadership.

9. Can you provide real-life examples of leaders who have effectively used powerful conversations to achieve success?

Larry Gundrum, Senior Vice President at Kraft Foods, and Linda Coughlin, Managing Director at Scudder Kemper Investments Inc., are passionate champions of powerful conversations. They have used these techniques to foster valuable relationships and achieve exceptional levels of success in their leadership positions.

10. How do leadership competencies play a role in economic policy and government agencies?

ALeadership competencies are vital in the realm of economic policy and government agencies. They enable leaders to communicate their vision with candor and clarity, resulting in clearer economic policies that benefit the business world and the broader community.

11. What are some wise goal-oriented strategies that leaders can employ in the fast-forward world?

Wise goal-oriented strategies include using both yourself as an essential handbook for leadership development, learning from examples of great leaders, and applying emotional intelligence wisely to build valuable relationships in the business world.

12. How do high-impact leaders communicate with employees, and what benefits does it bring to the organisation?

High-impact leaders communicate with employees using directed techniques that foster clearer communication and thoughtfulness. This approach greatly enhances working relationships, resulting in a real difference in the organization's performance and success.

13. How does powerful communication contribute to achieving economic policy goals?

At Brandeis University for example, powerful communication is a key element in achieving economic policy goals. It enables the university to measure powerful conversations effectively and implement clearer economic policies that benefit both the academic and economic sectors.

14. What is the role of candor and clarity in the fast-forward world of leadership?

Phil Harkins, the author of "Five Strategies for Relocations Solutions," emphasises that candor and clarity are essential in the fast-forward world of leadership. They empower leaders to deliver unprecedented results and drive high-impact leadership by communicating their massive agenda effectively.

In the fast-forward world of leadership, it is crucial for both your leadership skills to evolve continuously. Powerful conversations play a pivotal role in this evolution, as they have the potential to greatly enhance your abilities. Leaders who understand the significance of praising powerful conversations and recognise that powerful conversations breed trust and collaboration are often the most successful. Phil Harkins, an author known for his insightful perspectives, has it exactly right when he emphasizes the importance of clear communication in the world candor and clarity. As the Ozonian Chairman and CEO, he serves as a passionate champion of powerful organization and an essential handbook for leaders striving to achieve more control over their organizations and make a real difference. The three stages of leadership development—assessment, growth, and application—outlined in Phil Harkins' work are essential for achieving unprecedented results. McGraw Hill, a renowned publisher, has recognized the value of these principles by featuring his insights in their publications. Thus, leaders in the fast-forward world should heed the wisdom of both Phil Harkins and McGraw Hill, using their guidance as a valuable resource in their journey toward excellence.

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