Improving conversations in the workplace

Think about the last conversation you had with one of your team – Was the conversation as high impact as it could have been?  What did you both achieve?  Did you enjoy it and why(not)?

If you are finding it difficult to answer these questions with specific examples the chances are that the discussion was not as successful as it could have been.

Why are conversations important?

Increasingly, we are becoming more dependent on technology and we are now more likely to communicate with our colleagues digitally via email, text, teleconference etc than we are to have a face-to-face conversation. As we get more and more out of practice, the act of having an honest and direct discussion with your colleague(s) can become quite a challenging concept. Conversations at work are incredibly important in the exchange of thoughts and ideas, to invite input and discussion and to generate specific actions to list just a few reasons.  For the last 15 years h2h have been helping managers to improve the quality of the conversations they have at work with the aim of:

What did we do to help?

We have recently been working alongside one of our customers, in the manufacturing sector, with the specific aim of enabling their managers to have more effective and impactful discussions in their performance reviews. As with all our interventions we designed a bespoke solution that was specifically tailored to support the vision, values and culture of the business and to generate discussion and develop capability through their learning experience.

We designed an interactive and enjoyable workshop that used a balance of theory, relevant real-life examples, practical tasks and opportunities for self-reflection which covered the following areas:

During the last 2 years more than 50 managers have participated in the programme, based on an average team size of 12, that’s more 600 employees who are now benefiting from more meaningful discussions with their line manager. By understanding and applying the tools and techniques provided, these managers have been able to ensure that their conversations are well prepared, consistent, specific and direct – and that they take place at the right time, in the right place. All of which help to facilitate better working relationships, encourage employee engagement and promote professional development opportunities.

What impact did this have for the organisation?

Feedback from the most recent programme has been overwhelmingly positive with 85% of delegates stating that, following this training, they felt more confident in their ability to conduct more meaningful conversations with their team.   Managers reported that the sessions had helped them improve the quality of the conversations by:

We believe that an effective people strategy lies at the heart of all successful and enduring organisations. If you would like to find out more about how we can partner with you to develop and implement strategies that optimise the capability of your people then contact us at or find out more on our website at