5 ways to improve conversations in your business

5 ways to improve conversations in your business

As employees slowly begin to return to work and with employee well-being high on many people's agendas, our thoughts are turning to how that return to work can be facilitated smoothly and supportively. Much of the commentary regarding working from home is now about the damage to informal learning for younger people and new starters who have not been able to learn by watching or listening to others within the workplace.

One way to make the return to normal working a smooth one is to consider how supportive the culture is within your workplace. There are many benefits for businesses and employees who are part of a coaching culture. If you have been thinking about moving towards a coaching culture, a great place to start is by examining the quality of the conversations that are happening now. The quality of your conversations will determine how well and how quickly people reintegrate into the workplace. Here are our top tips to help you achieve good quality conversations.

1. Listen well.

Showing that you are really listening demonstrates that you value people’s input. Whether it is a pre-arranged or ad hoc conversation, focus on the conversation and avoid distractions.

2. Notice what is not being said as well as what is said.

There may be subtle clues about what is really going on that can only be picked up if you are really focused on the conversation.

3. Use super-questions.

Ask questions that make people really think before answering. Their answers are likely to give you a deeper understanding of any issues or challenges.

4. Contribution is a two-way street.

You guessed it…if one person is doing all the talking, it will not be a quality conversation.

5. Ask for their thoughts and ideas.

Trust, confidence and motivation grow when people are encouraged to contribute to discussion.

Quality conversations make people feel valued, increase motivation and engagement levels, which in turn can yield improved business outcomes including, enhanced staff wellbeing, increased productivity, innovation and customer service excellence.

Our ILM approved 'Manager as Coach' course could be the next step to developing your coaching skills and those of your managers. A course outline is available on our website, or you can complete the form below to obtain more information.

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