What is the conversation you need to have

What’s the conversation you need to have

We all have conversations we avoid. We can wall these conversations off to the extent that we are not even aware we are avoiding them.

In helping someone get to know themselves, a coach or mentor can encourage them to acknowledge and explore these conversations.

Some of the most common include:

  • Conversations with yourself – being honest with yourself can be the toughest conversation of all!
  • Conversations with people close to you – spouse or partner, children, living parents
  • Conversations you didn’t get to have or complete with people, who are now out of reach (through death or other loss of contact)
  • Conversations with team colleagues
  • Conversations with your boss
  • Conversations with colleagues or associates outside your team
  • Conversations with neighbours
  • And so on…

Useful questions to help explore these conversations include:

  • What is it you would like to change in how they see things?
  • Why is that important to you?
  • How important do you think it is (or might be) to them?
  • What would be the benefit of having this conversation, to you, to the other party, to others?
  • What precisely would you like to say to them?
  • What would you like them to say to you?
  • What has stopped you having this conversation?
  • What would allow you to have this conversation now?
  • What would give you the courage to have this conversation?
  • How would you feel afterwards?
  • What further help do you need from me or others to make this conversation happen?

Many, if not most of the stressors and anxieties that cause us to underperform relate to conversations we are avoiding. Facing up to them and being curious about our motivations and how things could be different emancipates us. For this reason, the conversations we have about conversations we avoid can be among the most valuable a coach or mentor can initiate.

© David Clutterbuck, 2017

conversation you need to have


A guide to unleashing the hidden value in your organisation through high impact strategic mentoring programs.

Most human beings and organisations have one thing in common – they both want to do better. But it’s hard for one to achieve without the other. When you can harness both you can achieve great things.

Unfortunately, most organisational structures are hierarchical, which may aid efficiency but not necessarily “real” human interaction.

Solving the human equation is the cornerstone of great culture and the larger and more diverse the workforce, the more challenging it becomes, even before we factor in things like location, technology and pay rates.

Well designed and managed mentoring programs can have a dramatic impact on workplace culture and people engagement. A strategic mentoring program transcends hierarchy, creating relationships and interactions to build individual and hence organisational value.

In this guide we present you with proven practical insights on how to design, build, implement and automate a high influence mentoring program and create your own ripple effect.

Download My Copy
the ripple effect