Conversations, to humans, are like water to fish: we live in, and through, our conversations with other human beings.

However, in a team environment, we often believe that our results simply come from a set of work processes or ‘action items,’ when in fact success and results are generated by a series of conversations. We will often look past our conversations to only our results (or the lack thereof), not realizing we arrived where we did because of our choice of language and exchanges with others.

Performance breakdowns are conversation breakdowns

Our lack of results and other performance problems are often symptomatic of weak or missing conversations within the team. Negative moods present in a team, such as fear or resentment, also can block performance.

Partnering Designs has helped dozens of teams achieve success by developing team members’ awareness of the role conversations play, and by creating conversations that have a pivotal effect on a team’s outcomes. For example, by choosing the ‘language of commitment’ over the ‘language of complaint,’ or the ‘language of responsibility’ over ‘language of blame,’ team leaders can increase a team’s effectiveness and performance.

Partnering Designs team coaching framework

Your team’s performance and results are our key goals. We work with your team to improve performance and achieve your desired results by:

  • Teaching team leaders to treat performance problems as symptomatic of weak or missing conversations
  • Determining what’s preventing desired results by creating relevant conversations
  • Creating a shared foundation of language and open people to new ways of thinking
  • Designing conversational improvements and tracking results to manage processes and conversation consistency

Team coaching is structured as a series of Leadership Conversation Labs that consist of:

  • Customized workshop agendas for reflective conversation and action
  • Off-site team meetings
  • One or two third-party facilitators

Follow-up one-to-one coaching is also an option as needed or desired.

Fees: Determined by design requested.

Case studies

Here are two real-life scenarios that illustrate how weak or missing conversations can be detrimental to a team or organization.

A project is late and over budget
By mapping and exploring the project management process of a project that is late and over budget, we discover false promises were made about deliverables out of fear of losing the contract. Sloppy or vague requests and unclear commitments from suppliers critical to the project also lead to disappointment.

These breakdowns in performance create breakdowns in trust and relationships, which, if not corrected by conversations, compound performance problems. Trust can be rebuilt by having conversations about sincerity, capability and capacity. These are just a few ways in which effective conversations make for effective project management, that result in projects that are on time and on budget.

Sales stagnate due to internal resistance
A salesperson in the field brings back news of promising meetings with her client. Internally, however, she meets resistance that kills her enthusiasm and discourages her from persisting. Frustrated and embarrassed by this resistance, she’s nevertheless reluctant to speak openly of her frustrations as the risk to her is too high. The result? She loses the sale as her feelings of discouragement seep into her follow-up meetings.