Award-Winning Dialogue Skills Training
Of all the things people do, talking is among the most visible and certainly among the most influential.
Think about it. You don’t add your greatest value by virtue of your skill in manipulating project management software or flipping switches or turning valves. You add your greatest value by interacting with other human beings, and you do that primarily by talking.
Talk to be Heard, Listen So Others Will Talk
It’s amazing how many books have been written on the subject of conversation skills. They all contribute to the discussion, but their essence can be summed up simply: We are most effective when we talk so other people will listen and when we listen so other people will talk.
Ours is a debate culture. Radio and television “talk shows” are little more than gladiators with microphones. Similar behaviors exist in the workplace. Some people behave like bulldozers, while others simply go to silence. Neither extreme gets good results.
Duncan Worldwide offers award-winning training in dialogue skills. We teach people how to step up to risky conversations (challenging someone’s conclusion, confronting a coworker on a safety issue, etc.) and how to conduct the conversations in a way that builds trust and respect. We teach them to address “undiscussables” openly and honestly. We teach them to listen with empathy, inquire to discover, advocate with respect, and pool the meaning so all participants contribute to better outcomes.
Dialogue is not pie-in-the-sky, let’s-all-hold-hands-and-sing stuff. Neither is it a touchy-feely, warm-and-fuzzy, soft-headed approach to thinking and interacting.
True dialogue enables people to blend and synchronize their ingenuity and work in ways not otherwise possible. True dialogue is the antidote to the poisonous “discussion” and debate tactics that characterize so many interactions in so many organizations.
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Our associates have taught dialogue skills to tens of thousands of people in some of the best organizations in the world – AT&T, Nike, the Federal Reserve Bank, Eli Lilly, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, dozens of leading hospitals, government agencies ranging from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Veterans Administration, and at more than half of the nuclear power companies in North America.
In addition, we have certified hundreds of trainers to take our dialogue training in-house. Many of these certified trainers are C-level executives. That’s a clear indication of the value they see in the training we provide.
Why is dialogue (meaningful conversation) so important? Because there’s a direct correlation between effective dialogue and success. When people are in the throes of a high-risk conversation, much hangs in the balance. Fortunately, when people are able to honestly and accurately discuss all the relevant issues – including facts, opinions, theories, and feelings – they make better choices. They identify problems early. They make better decisions. They take better action. They strengthen relationships.
In short, they get better results.