What happens when you have real conversation

You may not see the importance of authentic conversations at work. That’s understandable because you (think) they consume valuable time and you don’t get rewarded for talking with people. Meeting organizational goals, hiring, firing, managing performance and the boss may seem like the most significant things to do. These are vital, but think about it: none of these things get done without people and they all require conversation.

Nothing happens without conversation. When great conversations happen, relationships become established and organizational goals can be met and exceeded.

Real conversations – the kind where all involved parties listen to each other, are curious and non-judgmental (even when you disagree) are the foundation for rich learning and deep connection as well as thoughtful action. New possibilities are created in dialog where wonderful connections happen as people co-create together.

When you have these kinds of conversations, you’ll find that you – and organizational results – change for the better:

From being weighed down by your responsibility to solve it all to believing that people are whole and resourceful. How could you ever possibly trust that your stakeholders (including your direct reports, your boss, and your peers) have something to offer without genuine, honest conversations? Listen deeply and new worlds emerge that are full of possibility and potential that, when thoroughly discussed, lead to shared goals and great accomplishments.

From making errors based on faulty thinking to recognizing that the most creative solutions happen when people think together. Do you look back on decisions you’ve made and feel that they could have been better? When you think together with others, you just might be surprised about the range of solutions that emerge. Be curious about what materializes as well as your own desire to hang onto your own solutions. Let go of your desire to hold on to your truths and consider the new ones that evolve through the power of real conversations.

From a primary focus on moving too quickly to action to understanding that a reflective practice with others can foster more effective action. Have you noticed that taking action is different from taking thoughtful action? Thoughtful action, based in a reflective practice that involves open conversation with others can be more effective than taking action on the fly. Exercise non-judgment in your conversations and see if you don’t find this to be true.

Being a leader is tough. Adding in the burden of being a leader who feels solely responsible for coming up with all solutions, innovation, and action can kill you (or at the very least derail your leadership). Open up the conversation to include others and notice the positive impact on you and your organization.


I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.

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