What Clients Say about our "Challenging Conversations" Workshop

Friday, January 30, 2009

RGoodman Associates has delivered communication effectiveness workshops to hundreds of participants including scientists, marketers, customer operations professionals, market analysts, lawyers, and information technology specialists. In addition to consistently scoring our approach as "highly effective,"* our participants have also told us what works particularly well in their experience.

Starting With the Other's Perspective through Inquiry
Participants report that Inquiry tops the list as the most useful technique in the work setting:

"This method helps to overcome initial roadblocks in conversation…once I get past the second question I'm able to gain access to much more information than I otherwise would have."

Additionally, approaching an issue with questions sets the stage for both parties to work with rather than against one another:

"It is important to engage others with genuine questions to understand the issue and reiterate that 'we' can resolve it."

Creating a Neutral Story
While participants say this is one of the hardest concepts to master, it is cited to be highly effective:

"I've found that reframing the conversation to eliminate blame of either party allows me to get much further in resolving conflict than my own attempts would."

Central to this concept, our clients say, is developing the ability to step outside of a subjective stance and focus on objective information:

"The neutral story is a tool most lawyers don't have in their bag of tricks, but in the right situation it can produce miraculous results."

Learning through Real Life Scenarios
Putting participants in the middle of their own cases, rather than asking them to practice with generic scenarios, is a "major difference of RGA's approach… it's much more relevant than other didactic approaches to teaching these methods."

Pressure testing the material against familiar issues from the client's own experience is a great way to apply RGA concepts in real time:

"The role plays gave me an opportunity to practice the techniques and see how they would actually fit into our work environment"

Through the teaching of skills and intentional practice, RGA is helping its clients engage in the challenging conversations that are critical to their success.  The research is clear: organizations that commit to surfacing and managing conflict effectively will sustain high performance. **

*To date, our workshops rate a 4.2 on a 5 point scale in overall effectiveness.

**Katzenbach, J. and Smith, D. The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High Performance Organization. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1993.  

updated: 10 years ago