Friday, November 24th, 2017

Structure & Learnings


Program Structure

Pivotal Conversations is designed for groups of approximately 8 people per workshop and includes 3 modules:

  1. Start-Up Workshop (1 day)
  2. Dialogue Skills Workshop (2-3 days)
  3. Follow-Through Workshop (1 day)

Start-Up Workshop

The Start-Up Workshop takes place about 2 weeks prior to the Dialogue Skills Workshop. In this workshop, participants learn:

  • What pivotal conversations are and how they impact business performance
  • The key factors that can make or break these critical business conversations
  • The positive and negative roles that “mindsets” (assumptions) play in pivotal conversations
  • How awareness of mind-sets and a willingness to think in both/and terms can facilitate dialogue and lead to creative, mutually beneficial solutions
  • The value of analyzing “learning cases” relevant to their business
  • How to prepare for the Dialogue Skills Workshop, including how to write their own learning case about a pivotal conversation they want to handle more effectively

Dialogue Workshop

This workshop begins with an interactive introduction to the Dialogue Skills needed for creative collaboration.

The vast majority of the time is devoted to providing each participant with group coaching: Using specially designed learning cases drawn from their own experience, each participant receives unusually specific, helpful feedback from skilled facilitators and from other managers. Through role-playing and concentrated coaching, participants learn new attitudes and skills they can readily apply to the pivotal conversations they find most challenging.

The workshop has a strongly applied focus throughout. At the end of the program, participants formulate Action Learning Plans for continued work on the skills they have learned. These plans, captured in a special one-page format, include a clear, succinct description of behavior change a participant wants to work on and the support mechanisms the person will use to keep their work on this behavior alive.

A written evaluation is administered before participants leave the workshop.

Follow-Through Workshop

This one-day workshop, held one month after the Dialogue Workshop, ensures that work on applying new attitudes and behaviors continues to bear fruit. During the Follow-Through Workshop, participants:

  • Discuss their successes and difficulties in learning to put Dialogue Skills into practice over the intervening month.
  • Receive group coaching on “mini” learning cases they bring to the workshop, and do further role-playing.
  • Update their Action Learning Plans — setting additional learning goals and building-in support for continued learning.

What Participants Will Learn

Through Pivotal Conversations, participants not only learn sophisticated skills for collaborative problem-solving, they also learn the underlying awareness, attitudes, and intentions needed to generate and sustain creative, collaborative problem-solving in challenging real-world situations.

State-of-the-Art Skills for Creative, Collaborative Problem-Solving

  • Deep listening
  • Non-manipulative persuasion
  • Dialogue skills
  • How to initiate and sustain creative problem-solving conversations

Attitudinal Shifts and Awareness Skills

To put the above skills into practice on a consistent basis, participants also learn:

  • Crucial attitudinal shifts, such as:
    • Mutual respect
    • Collaborative intent
    • Creative attitude
  • New awareness skills, including:
    • Enhanced self-understanding
    • Mindsets awareness and reframing
    • Stakeholder awareness
    • Reflective action,” a commitment and process for ongoing learning in the midst of action

Learning Methodologies

Pivotal Conversations utilizes a rich mix of learning methodologies:

  • Real-life learning cases — one brought by each participant
  • Individual feedback
  • Role plays and reverse role plays
  • Cost-benefit analysis of actual pivotal conversations
  • Work in duos
  • Individual awareness exercises
  • Brief conceptual inputs
  • Group discussions
  • Written individual reflections
  • Individualized coaching