Leading through conversations: a 2 days conversation intensive

Harness the power of Transformative Conversations to
Improve your performance as a leader

Leading Through Conversations is a practical coaching intensive for leaders (eg. HR personnel, managers, executive team leaders, committee members, community groups, facilitators, trainers, project coordinators) who are tired of unproductive meetings, conflicts, misunderstandings, lack of motivation, and low engagement and productivity. This is for your if you want to increase your mastery of communication tools, increase your influence,  and foster more productive dialogue in meetings and other interactions. It's Intended to hone dialogue skills. 

Do you want to…

  • Make your meetings more productive and meaningful, dealing with the real issues?

  • Keep discussions on track and channel differences of opinion constructively?

  • Get your point across more persuasively without people misunderstanding you?

  • Get people to speak up in meetings, think together, and share ideas more openly?

  • Say what you need to say about issues that matter and work through them?

  • Challenge other’s views respectfully in ways that don’t deteriorate into argument?

  • Have conversations that bring engagement and results?

  • Replace dead-end debate and argument with more skillful discussion and dialogue?

  • Create a conversational culture where people feel safe to raise hard issues?

Leading through Conversations…

The essential actions leaders take happen almost entirely through conversations.  Conversations are every leader’s business.  They are at the core of what leaders do. Words have power.  You need to master the power of conversations.  

This intensive experience is for you if you are. . .

  • building a business,

  • leading change,

  • Working in human resources,

  • collaborating in an executive team,

  • dealing with difficult discussions,

  • revitalizing a team,

  • energizing classrooms,

  • coping constructively with complaints or

  • creating an exceptional customer service climate

In fact, leadership is really ‘a stream of conversations.’  Think of all the leadership tasks you achieve through conversations.  There’s change conversations, goal-setting and problem-solving conversations, planning and coaching conversations, to name a few – not forgetting those ever-present and often troublesome difficult conversations.

Through conversations, we connect with others, inspire, influence, energize, motivate and set the emotional climate to build positive working relationships.  Conversations are simply too important for leaders to ignore.  The caliber of conversations you have is a telling indicator of team culture, leadership climate and change success, and a key element for the effective functioning of any team.  Ultimately, it’s conversations that determine the performance culture of your workplace.

A Profile of the Program

As a leader, you’re the role model for the way conversations happen in your place.  Your ability to conduct more skillful conversations is really an indispensable leadership tool!

This 2-day coaching intensive introduces you to 9 essential skills for more constructive conversations and the art of skillful dialogue.  It gives you a useful set of foundation tools to get your conversations out of unproductive debate/argument mode and steer them toward more constructive dialogues.

Who Comes to this Coaching Intensive?

This intensive program can benefit any leader (eg. managers, human resources personnel, team leaders, committee members, community groups, facilitators, trainers, project coordinators) who wants to increase their personal mastery of communication tools and work on ways to foster more productive conversations in meetings and other interactions – either at work or in the broader community.

If you are in HR, this coaching intensive also has the advantage of fulfilling the requirements for 12 PDCs in any of the following competencies: Leadership, Communication, HR Expertise (HR Knowledge).  As an HR professional you can use our Conversational Coaching Intensive to hone your communication skills, while at the same time you receive credits.  A win-win!


What Will I Learn?

When you dig down into what you do as a leader day-in and day-out, you spend a lot of time having conversations.  They’re the major forum where you build relationships, solve problems, make decisions, take action and learn together – but most of us never stop to think how we might become better at them.  Knowing when and how to use different conversational tools is a vital but neglected element for personal mastery, inspirational leadership and business success.

Leading Through Conversations offers an exceptional opportunity to improve the quality of your conversational skills.  You can widen the range of discussion tools you can utilize in all sorts of settings – one-on-one, group meetings and problem-solving sessions. It will help you to:

  1. Diagnose your communication style and how well it’s working for you.

  2. Observe and interpret more accurately what’s going on in dialogues and meetings.

  3. Move from debate to dialogue.

  4. Develop the capacity to structure conversations and lead other people through it.

  5. Practice and apply new conversation skills in real life situations.

  6. Raise the level of frank, open interchange of views and perspectives between people.

  7. Learn how to structure transformative conversations and skillful dialogue and lead other people through it.

  8. Practice new conversation skills and tools.

You will also receive a free copy of my book: Transformative Conversations: The heart of the leadership journey.

What to Expect at a Coaching Intensive

Learn Skills that Count!

When you’re at work, you seldom get a safe environment to practice in.  In work conversations, you’re under pressure ‘playing the game’ – there’s no time to reflect, it’s too risky to try out a new tool or approach and you rarely get feedback about your conversational behavior.  At our coaching intensive we:

  • Take a tool-kit based approach: Equip you with a set of simple, effective and easy-to-learn tools.

  • Provide practice in a safe environment: Part of the appeal of our clinics is you get to practice in a safe, small group environment to develop new strategies for managing your conversations in a more mindful and effective manner.

  • Come with a substantial self-directed guide to support your ongoing learning after the clinic. You can also choose to have ongoing support (individual or group coaching) as you make changes.

  • Focus on practicing actual tools: We think people learn best through doing – so the focus of our clinics is on giving you practice and building your confidence to use the tools back at work.

  • Deal with real-life conversational challenges: We address the real conversational challenges you face, adapting the content of each clinic to cover major areas of need or interest for you and the group.

  • Individualized follow up option: Based on your individual needs, you can opt in for a 6 month group or private individualized follow up coaching program. This will increase your capacity to lead through conversations and will help you develop your weaker areas. You will have guidance and support as you integrate the knowledge gained into your everyday leadership challenges.

The Two Day Program

DAY 1: Introduces a framework for moving from debate to dialogue, 9 skills of constructive conversations and starts practice on conversational tools.

Day 1 Outline

  • Introduction: The conversational nature of leadership

  • Diagnostic: Your conversational strengths and challenges (based on your test scores). Setting conversational coaching improvement goals

  • Practice session: how strengths and challenges affect your leadership

  • Coaching framework: The 9 conversational skills and how they impact your talk

  • Authenticity. Getting in touch with your inner voice

  • Practice session: story-telling and story-listening

  • The first skill set: Slowing down. Pause, suspend, and listen

  • Practice session: inner dialogue, silence, and reflection

  • Assumption making: ladder of inference, and biases

  • Listening levels and tips

  • Practice session: assumptions and listening

  • From debate to dialogue: distinguishing differences, usefulness, and relation to effective meetings.

  • The second skill set: Moving forward. Inquiry, advocacy, and an open mind.

  • Powerful questions, discovery and learning

  • Practice session: questions and influence.

  • Sharing what you have to say cleanly and clearly

  • How an open mind leads to innovation and collaboration

DAY 2: Continues to explore the 9 skills with more tools and practice sessions. Applies learning to specific issues in the workplace.

Day 2 Outline

  • The power of dialogue

  • How to connect with peers and others in 2nd position

  • What conversational roles do you play?

  • What is a dialogue circle and what elements should be present

  • Practice session: Conducting a dialogue circle

  • Raising hard issues without raising defensiveness

  • The third skill set: Go! Build, embrace, and transform.

  • How trust, respect, and competence raises the level of openness and disclosure

  • Practice session: Dealing with difficult moments

  • Conversational coaching scorecard

  • Practice session: conversation fishbowls using the scorecard

  • Creating a conversational work culture: how embracing mutuality, honesty, and joy invites engagement

  • Requisites for evolving into a conversational leader

  • Transforming into the future of leadership

  • Practice session: Creating your future

  • Final circle of reflection


You can ask Dr. Ada to bring this program to your organization or you can attend one offered at different times and places.  

Only 20 spots available so reserve yours now!