The Four Conversations

Daily Communication That Gets Results

Jeffrey Ford (Author) | Laurie Ford (Author)

Publication date: 08/01/2009

The Four Conversations
Most conversations to get things done at work are of one of four types — initiative conversations, conversations for understanding, performance conversations, or conversations for closure — but they are often done poorly or misused. This book shows managers and employees how to use the right conversation at the right time, plan and start each conversation well, and finish each conversation effectively.Talk is powerful. Engaging in the right conversation at the right time is key to both personal and organizational success. And it isn’t just ‘difficult’ conversations that matter. The Four Conversations clearly demonstrates it is the everyday dialogue we have with one another that is critical. Armed with a solid body of research and their own first-hand observations, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford identify four types of conversations that every one of us must use to get things done: initiative conversations to introduce something new; understanding conversations to help people relate to new ideas or processes; performance conversations to request specific actions and results; and closure conversations to complete work and give people a sense of accomplishment . They identify the specific elements that make each of these conversations successful and show how they can be put together in different ways to achieve different objectives. The Four Conversations demonstrates how to use the right conversation at the right time—planning and starting each one well, and finishing every conversation effectively—to produce the results we want and the improved productivity our organizations need. And through dozens of personal stories and sample dialogues, the authors illustrate how real people in real situations have used the four conversations, either alone or in combination, to more effectively combat common workplace problems and lay the foundations for enduring success: stronger relationships, better buy-in, and a greater feeling of personal and professional achievement for everyone.


•    Explores how even small changes in the way we talk with one another can produce extraordinarily positive outcomes

•    Describes how to get maximum results from four types of conversations we use every day

•    Research-based and practical, with sample dialogues and personal stories that show how to put the four conversations into practice

Talk is powerful. Engaging in the right conversation at the right time is key to both personal and organizational success. And it isn’t just ‘difficult’ conversations that matter. The Four Conversations clearly demonstrates it is the everyday dialogue we have with one another that is critical.

Armed with a solid body of research and their own first-hand observations, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford identify four types of conversations that every one of us must use to get things done: initiative conversations to introduce something new; understanding conversations to help people relate to new ideas or processes; performance conversations to request specific actions and results; and closure conversations to complete work and give people a sense of accomplishment . They identify the specific elements that make each of these conversations successful and show how they can be put together in different ways to achieve different objectives.

The Four Conversations demonstrates how to use the right conversation at the right time—planning and starting each one well, and finishing every conversation effectively—to produce the results we want and the improved productivity our organizations need. And through dozens of personal stories and sample dialogues, the authors illustrate how real people in real situations have used the four conversations, either alone or in combination, to more effectively combat common workplace problems and lay the foundations for enduring success: stronger relationships, better buy-in, and a greater feeling of personal and professional achievement for everyone.

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Book Details
Overview
Most conversations to get things done at work are of one of four types — initiative conversations, conversations for understanding, performance conversations, or conversations for closure — but they are often done poorly or misused. This book shows managers and employees how to use the right conversation at the right time, plan and start each conversation well, and finish each conversation effectively.Talk is powerful. Engaging in the right conversation at the right time is key to both personal and organizational success. And it isn’t just ‘difficult’ conversations that matter. The Four Conversations clearly demonstrates it is the everyday dialogue we have with one another that is critical. Armed with a solid body of research and their own first-hand observations, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford identify four types of conversations that every one of us must use to get things done: initiative conversations to introduce something new; understanding conversations to help people relate to new ideas or processes; performance conversations to request specific actions and results; and closure conversations to complete work and give people a sense of accomplishment . They identify the specific elements that make each of these conversations successful and show how they can be put together in different ways to achieve different objectives. The Four Conversations demonstrates how to use the right conversation at the right time—planning and starting each one well, and finishing every conversation effectively—to produce the results we want and the improved productivity our organizations need. And through dozens of personal stories and sample dialogues, the authors illustrate how real people in real situations have used the four conversations, either alone or in combination, to more effectively combat common workplace problems and lay the foundations for enduring success: stronger relationships, better buy-in, and a greater feeling of personal and professional achievement for everyone.


•    Explores how even small changes in the way we talk with one another can produce extraordinarily positive outcomes

•    Describes how to get maximum results from four types of conversations we use every day

•    Research-based and practical, with sample dialogues and personal stories that show how to put the four conversations into practice

Talk is powerful. Engaging in the right conversation at the right time is key to both personal and organizational success. And it isn’t just ‘difficult’ conversations that matter. The Four Conversations clearly demonstrates it is the everyday dialogue we have with one another that is critical.

Armed with a solid body of research and their own first-hand observations, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford identify four types of conversations that every one of us must use to get things done: initiative conversations to introduce something new; understanding conversations to help people relate to new ideas or processes; performance conversations to request specific actions and results; and closure conversations to complete work and give people a sense of accomplishment . They identify the specific elements that make each of these conversations successful and show how they can be put together in different ways to achieve different objectives.

The Four Conversations demonstrates how to use the right conversation at the right time—planning and starting each one well, and finishing every conversation effectively—to produce the results we want and the improved productivity our organizations need. And through dozens of personal stories and sample dialogues, the authors illustrate how real people in real situations have used the four conversations, either alone or in combination, to more effectively combat common workplace problems and lay the foundations for enduring success: stronger relationships, better buy-in, and a greater feeling of personal and professional achievement for everyone.

About the Authors
Excerpt

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