Use our e-learning conversational recipe library or request a custom recipe.
Why Use the Library?
At some time or another, everyone finds themselves in a situation where they must hold a potentially difficult conversation--one that may be fraught with perceived potential negative outcomes or consequences. Most of us would rather have our teeth drilled than hold this kind of conversation! We would rather bury our heads in the sand and hope that “this too shall pass.” Fear, anxiety, and trepidation are the emotions of the day.
In short, you are worried about this conversation. And perhaps your company doesn’t offer training in how to handle these conversations, or you simply don't have time to study up on the subject in depth.
This Conversational Recipe Library is the answer. Take advantage of this resource before we change the availability of this offering!!!
What Are Conversational Recipes?
Conversational Recipes are audio/visual tutorials that teach skills for holding a variety of difficult conversations. Members on our site have free access to view these short lessons at their convenience and as they find the need.
Going forward, we are expanding the library to include recipes for specific challenging conversations which will help you prepare and hold those conversations. We invite you to contact us with questions or comments about specific conversations on which you would appreciate some guidance.
What Do You Do?
Listed below are ten foundation Conversational Recipes which form the bedrock for holding any difficult conversation. You are welcome to view the first recipe to sample the sort of information and content contained in this collection. Become a member of the DialogueWORKS site by providing a few bits of basic information, and you will have access to the remaining recipes.
Please listen to the first ten basic lessons to significantly improve your conversational skills and your confidence in handling these difficult conversations.
Next on the list (beginning with "Addressing Inappropriate Behavior") you will find a series of conversational recipes that address specific, targeted issues. Each of these targeted recipes includes an attached audio/visual file as well as a downloadable .PDF file containing a valuable Conversation Guide to assist you in preparing and holding the desired conversation.
Introduction to DialogueWORKS Recipes
All of us are faced with conversations that we would rather avoid or not hold at all. What if there was a formula or recipe for building such conversations? The purpose of the recipe library is to help you gain the communication skills you need to build more productive working relationships, create respect, and achieve results.
What Gets in the Way?
Unfortunately, it’s your stinkin’ thinkin’! Everything you do or say is driven by the way in which you perceive the world. Understanding how you process information is the key to understanding how you think, feel, and create your results. Learning about your thinking process will help you to slow down, stop and think, and deliberately explore differing perspectives rather than always assuming that the way you think is the way things really are.
What is Dialogue?
Dialogue is the most effective form of communication. Engaging in dialogue leads people to cooperate and collaborate to improve their learning, problem-solving, and decision-making. You will learn the skills you need to create REAL conversations. Learning the behaviors of dialogue will help you to recognize the dynamics present in any conversation and understand how to manage those dynamics more effectively.
How to Create a Conversation that Works
Combining the skills of dialogue creates a recipe framework for holding any difficult conversation. In this recipe you will learn how to initiate or begin a conversation, create discovery, enhance connection, and build new understanding that leads to improved solutions and resolutions.
Initiate to Begin
Initiation is the process of beginning any conversation, and is especially important when beginning a difficult conversation. You will learn how to create increased engagement on the part of your listener while establishing a foundation for the rest of the conversation by identifying the facts of the situation as well as your interpretation of the facts. Learning to effectively initiate a conversation will help you speak in a way that increases respect and establishes a positive relationship.
Discover to Learn
Discovery is about asking questions with the goal of increasing understanding, improving performance, and achieving results. Learning to ask respectful questions helps establish comfort and rapport with your listener, which in turn increases respect as well as candor or openness. Although discovery is often overlooked in conversations, you will learn how to ask questions to gain a more complete understanding of any situation.
Connect for Clarity
Connection is about establishing a clear understanding of one another’s perspectives, clarifying expectations, and sharing consequences. You connect by asking about and listening to the perspectives of others. Connection is created as you summarize what you believe you have heard, clarify differences of perspective, share expectations and consequences, and link to desired goals. This phase of any conversation is the key to creating accountability. Learning to connect with another person is about creating shared understanding in any situation before establishing accountability.
Build for Accountability
Building creates accountability for a specific plan to which you are committed. The sole purpose of this phase of the conversation is to achieve the desired results! You will learn in this recipe how to create buy-in and individual accountability that engages your listener’s participation in achieving the desired results. You will also learn to ensure that the other person is fully committed to the agreed-upon plan.
Planning to GROW
This recipe introduces the GROW model as a method of increasing your awareness of what needs to be achieved and the responsibility required for completing the desired goal. You will learn a simple yet powerful method for identifying Goals, assessing current Reality, generating a number of Options or solutions, and deciding on What’s next in the process of holding a conversation that works.
Tools for Success
This vignette introduces you to the materials you will receive when you download a DialogueWORKS recipe for your personal use: the Cue’s and Do’s, the DialogueWORKS Planner, the DialogueWORKS Conversation Guide, the Commitment Plan, and the Application Example. This recipe outlines how these components work together and how you can use them to prepare and hold powerful and REAL conversations.
Addressing Inappropriate Behavior
Speaking about a possible problem with individual’s behavior can cause a great deal of anxiety because it is extremely personal. You probably realize that few people intentionally go out of their way to offend others, but sometimes offense is taken anyway. When you have to talk to others about their behavior, you should expect that they will take what you say personally and will likely become defensive or try to deny the incident. This recipe will help you prepare and hold a difficult conversation addressing inappropriate behavior.
Improving Employee Performance
Almost everyone finds it difficult to address another person's poor performance. Sometimes you just don’t know what to say, or perhaps you are afraid of conflict or bad feelings that may result. Or maybe the ndividual is usually a great performer, and you don’t want to run the risk of giving feedback that might have a negative impact on their otherwise positive performance. Understanding how to provide feedback to improve performance is key to your effectiveness as a leader. This recipe will help you do just that.
Handling Emotional Reaction
Most people will do whatever it takes to avoid “hot” emotional reaction or conflict in conversation. Understanding how to accelerate through the conflict and uncover the issue at the heart of the matter is essential for restoring rationality in any conversation. Defusing defensiveness is the first step in resolving conflict of any kind. This recipe will teach you how to restore rationality--what we call EASE--to a situation full of emotional reaction.
Setting and Managing Expectations
Setting clear expectations is the key to achieving superior results. Unfortunately, we usually don’t realize that we haven't set clear expectations until those expectations are violated. People often underestimate the importance of properly planning and building a “bridge of expectations” to achieve desired results. This recipe teaches you how to effectively set and share expectations using goals, rules, tools, measures, and outcomes.
Providing Positive Feedback
It’s amazing how few leaders take the time to give feedback to their best performers! Positive feedback for a person's contributions recognizes the value of their performance and establishes value for them as an individual. Giving positive feedback helps to build a relationship that directly impacts productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee retention. This recipe provides a framework for giving positive feedback in both formal and informal settings. Everyone ought to view this recipe!
Conducting the Annual Performance Review
Many leaders dread giving the annual performance review, particularly if they haven’t provided constructive feedback during the year. However, the annual review helps to create more open communication, increases engagement, reinforces your expectations, and identifies goals and growth opportunities for the future. This is a conversation that no leader can afford to conduct in a less-than-satisfactory manner. This recipe presents a simple and easy framework for holding a review conversation that will be mutually satisfying for both parties.