A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at a The Learning and Performance Institutes CLO Connect* event about the importance of good conversations in the workplace based on the findings from our research “Mastering Conversations”. I highlighted how people crave human connection, want to be heard and feel listened to; the key themes that emerged from our interviews. Another colleague from KPMG shared her practical experiences of driving conversational change, and we explored why changing the workplace conversation matters in today’s organisations.
The topic provoked some interesting discussions during the breaks, views were exchanged, and questions were asked. It felt like we had sparked some curiosity.
Yet as I stepped back into the world outside, I was directly confronted with a walk across London Bridge. What met me was a surge of emotion as I read the numerous messages left after the recent terror attack. I reached my hotel room, turned on the news and heard more harrowing personal stories from those caught up in Grenfell Tower; stories relating to anger, distrust, feeling ignored. What I was noticing felt visceral.
As human beings we all have a deep need for connection, for understanding, empathy, and feeling like we are valued and heard. We are all inherently emotive. The conversations I watched on the television pivoted from the deeply practical, logical and rational, to those fraught with pain, grief, and raw emotion. I do not espouse to say what may be right or wrong.
But what I do believe is that every conversation is an emotional relationship of one sort or another and that each one of us would do well to pay more attention to how we talk to each other. Whatever and wherever the conversation, we need to consider how to become more aware, skilled, and to be more human in our approach.
“Human Conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change.” Margaret Wheatley
Mastering Conversation (White Paper) – The Key Ingredient To Successful Leadership download here
*CLO Connect – Find out more here
About the author – Sara Hope:
Sara has a unique level of expertise on internal coaching and how to develop a culture of coaching conversations.
Sara has a passion for growing a culture of coaching conversations began over 20 years ago when I co-created and grew one of the first market leading Internal Coaching Faculties at KPMG LLP. Combining my leadership roles at EY and Vodafone, my academic research, and my work with a multitude of clients, enables me to bring unique and diverse insights into organisations.
As co-founder of The Conversation Space, and Director of The Internal Coach, Sara deeply believes that we have the potential to evolve the quality of conversations in organisations to enable them to become the main source of competitive advantage in the 21st century.
A subject-matter expert and personal experience as an internal coach continues to provide Sara with rich opportunities to help shape the profession. She enjoys writing and sharing her thoughts in places such as Coaching at Work, The Training Journal, HR Magazine, Roffey Park, CIPD, EMCC, ICF and through The Ridler Report.
Connect with Sara on LinkedIn