The Four Conversations

Book description

Talk is powerful. And it isn't just ‘difficult' conversations that matter— the everyday dialogue we have with one another is critical to both personal and organizational success. Packed with sample dialogues and dozens of personal stories, and backed by solid research and the authors' firsthand observations, The Four Conversations describes how to get maximum results from conversations that every one of us must use to get things done: initiative conversations introducing something new, understanding conversations to help people relate to ideas or processes, performance conversations requesting specific actions, and closure conversations that recognize achievements and signal completion of the work. As Jeffrey and Laurie Ford clearly demonstrate, engage in the right conversation at the right time—plan and start each one well, finish every one effectively—and extraordinary things can happen.

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Preface
  6. Chapter One: Four Conversations in a Successful Workplace
    1. The Importance of Conversations
    2. Some Conversations Slow Things down, others Speed Things up
    3. Six Limitations to a Successful Workplace
    4. Conversations: Your Personal Advantage
    5. Key Points
  7. Chapter Two: Initiative Conversations: Create a Future
    1. Leaders have Initiative Conversations
    2. Choose Your Initiative Statement: What-When-Why
    3. Prepare for Your Initiative Conversation: Who-Where-How
    4. Launch Your Initiative Conversation
    5. If You are Missing Initiative Conversations
    6. Putting it into Practice
  8. Chapter Three: Understanding Conversations: Include and Engage
    1. Help People Find a Positive Meaning in Your Message
    2. Expand and Deepen Participation
    3. The Limits of Understanding
    4. If You are Missing Understanding Conversations
    5. Putting it into Practice
  9. Chapter Four: Performance Conversations: Ask and Promise
    1. Commit to Performance: What-When-Why
    2. Ask others to Commit
    3. Promises Create Agreements: Who-Where-How
    4. Manage the Agreement
    5. If You are Missing Performance Conversations
    6. Putting it into Practice
  10. Chapter Five: Closure Conversations: Create Endings
    1. An Incomplete past Can Prevent a New Future
    2. The Four A’s of Closure Conversations
    3. Build Accountability and Resolve “People Problems”
    4. If You are Missing Closure Conversations
    5. Putting it into Practice
  11. Chapter Six: Using the Four Conversations
    1. Conversational Tendencies
    2. How the Four Conversations Work Together
    3. Putting it into Practice
  12. Chapter Seven: Support the Conversational Workplace
    1. The Conversational Workplace
    2. Practices to Support the Conversational Workplace
    3. Implementing the Practices: Four Tips
    4. A Closing Note
  13. Resources
  14. Notes
  15. Acknowledgments
  16. Index
  17. About the Authors

Product information

  • Title: The Four Conversations
  • Author(s): Jeffrey D. Ford, Laurie W. Ford
  • Release date: August 2009
  • Publisher(s): Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • ISBN: 9781576759219