The Art of Conversation


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“The Art of Conversation” with Netcrafter’s Randy Weeks. Conversation, telling stories…the key to selling your ideas counts on your ability to do more than walk through a PowerPoint deck.

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The Art of Conversation

  1. 1. Changing the World by Changing the Conversation
  2. 2. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
  3. 3. “The universe is made of stories, not atoms” - Muriel Purkiser
  4. 4. “How much will this cost and how do we find the money?” “How do we get people on board?” “How did someone else solve this problem and how can we import that solution?”
  5. 5. Powerful Questions & A focus on Depth over Speed
  6. 6. INVITATION Replaces mandate, policy & alignment Invitation allows room for refusal without loss; Makes it clear what is being asked of those who accept.
  7. 7. INVITATION The invitation conversation begins with the awareness that transformation occurs through choice, not mandate.
  8. 8. POSSIBILITY Replaces problem solving and conversations about goals, targets, resources and how to persuade others.
  9. 9. POSSIBILITY By postponing problem solving, possibility opens the space for declaration of vision; of both individual and communal transformation.
  10. 10. POSSIBILITY One Possibility Conversation begins with: What is the crossroads at which I find myself with regard to __________?
  11. 11. OWNERSHIP Replaces explanation, blame and denial
  12. 12. OWNERSHIP Is the decision to become the author of our own experience, to be cause rather than effect.
  13. 13. OWNERSHIP The ownership conversation may begin with such questions as: “Why was it important for me to be here today?” “What is my contribution to the condition about which I am talking/complaining today?”
  14. 14. DISSENT Replaces lip service, rebellion & resignation
  15. 15. DISSENT If my “No” is not welcome, then my “Yes” will have no meaning. Early in every gathering, there needs to be room for dissent.
  16. 16. DISSENT The Dissent Conversation begins with such questions as: “What doubts and reservations do I have?” “What is the ‘No’ I’ve been postponing?” “What is the ‘Yes’ I no longer want to give?”
  17. 17. COMMITMENT Replaces barter and negotiated engagements If my commitment to someone depends on his or her fulfillment of a commitment to me, then it’s not commitment. It’s a DEAL.
  18. 18. COMMITMENT Commitment, the antithesis of entitlement and barter, is to choose a path independent of reward. It is a choice made in the absence of reciprocity. This is the essence of power.
  19. 19. COMMITMENT The Commitment Conversation begins with such questions as: “What promises am I willing to make?” “What measures have meaning for me?” “What is the cost to others for me to keep or fail in my commitments?”
  20. 20. GIFTS The conversation of Gifts replaces the common focus on deficiencies
  21. 21. GIFTS In a world focused on diagnosis and problem solving, our awareness of deficiencies is clear. When we look at deficiencies, we strengthen them. Most of us have worked on our “deficiencies” all our lives… How much better are we?
  22. 22. GIFTS The Gifts Conversation focuses on speaking them into the world: “This is a gift I received from you today.” “I see this strength, power, quality in you:”
  23. 23. Two closing thoughts on process… The structure of how we gather matters It’s important to replace Advice with Curiosity
  24. 24. More Information This overview of the 6 Conversations is based on the work of Peter Block and A Small Group. To learn more, please connect with A Small Group at: Facebook: Twitter: NING: