Collaborative Team Conversations

Team Collaborative Conversations Challenge

Team Collaborative Conversations Challenge

Why do some of the greatest ideas start on a napkin? This week’s challenge is about committing to create collaborative and innovative conversations during our daily lives. Yes, beyond popular belief, innovative conversations are not limited to the boardroom. Innovation and collaboration are not events. They are a way of being.


The four-week Challenge


Trust, respect, communication, and collaboration… the key components of high-performance teams. This four-week challenge is about shifting the way we connect through our language. Every conversation is an opportunity to connect. This series focuses on the following language strategies:      


  1.   Powerful Team language – Bust your “Buts” You traded in your “but” for the “and” conversation.
  2.   Team Connecting through Curiosity – Shake your “Should-a” – You defeated the judge and exchanged control for curiosity.
  3.   Conversations to Innovation & Collaboration – You freed your problem-solver and tapped into your inner change agent. 
  4.   Team Recognition – You are fully present to see and celebrate those around you.


Week 3: Create Collaborative Conversations


This week’s challenge is a commitment to yourself to change your conversation so you experience a new level of connection, personally and professionally. The difficulty is shifting from the need to be the problem-solver to being a catalyst for awesomeness. Your role is to bring out the awesomeness in others.


In collaborative conversations, you free your problem-solver and tap into your inner change agent. Your primary goal is to liberate the thoughts and challenge the thinking of the person in front of you so that they discover and unleash new possibilities.


When we engage in these conversations on a regular basis, a culture of creativity and continuous improvement emerges. This is the change agent’s language.


So, what does it take to shift from “Problem-Solver” to “Change Agent”?


The beauty is there is a natural flow within these conversations:


  1. Be Present and resist the urge to solve. Give your full attention to the person in the conversation. Your value is not based on you solving the problem. It is your gift to help them unleash the possibility for themselves. When you let go of thoughts of the future (anxiety) and release thoughts of the past (worry), you move into the present so that you can see, hear, feel and connect. Being present says, “You are the most important person to me right here and right now.”


  1. Listen authentically. When you are present you become a great listener. Listen not only to the words; witness the energy and emotion behind what is not being said. And then call it out for the person in front of you. “Wow, you sound excited…” or “Ouch, you seem frustrated…”


  1. Be curious and ask powerful questions. Powerful questions challenge thinking. When you ask questions without needing to solve the problems these questions will come naturally, and you become a catalyst for awesomeness. Remember the rule never ask a question you know the answer to. That is leading the witness, and it feels dishonest.


  1. Choose a response that expands and builds their idea. “Yes, and…” or “What I like about that is… and wouldn’t it be cool if…” (Remember what we learned about the “buts” and Should-a”.)


  1. Request an action and create accountability. Don’t leave them hanging in that creative space. Help them get grounded with a clear path forward, without telling them what to do. Notice I use the word request. That means your wisdom needs to come in the form of a question. “What is your next step to make this happen?” “When will you act on this?” “What can I do to support you?” “How will you let me know this is successful for you?”


Create Accountability


All change starts with self. However, sustainable change is created with accountability. So invite you to share this blog with your team and open the door for discussion. Give permission to catch yourself and each other during the conversation. Again, I recommend a playful approach, “Can you invite the change agent to the conversation?” or “Mr. Problem-Solver is hard at work.”


I know you can do it!! AND If you need help, you need me as your coach.


As always, I invite you to bring this same conversation into your personal life. You will be amazed at what opens in your relationships.


Look for next week’s blog as we focus on “WooHoo your You-Who.”We will discover the power of acknowledgement and recognition in building trust.

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