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What is 5 Conversations?

5 Conversations is an inspiring concept that empowers managers to develop more trusting and successful relationships at work – transforming individual and business performance. Both the book and the workplace programme explore 5 key conversations:

  • Establishing a trusting relationship
  • Agreeing mutual expectations
  • Showing genuine appreciation
  • Challenging unhelpful behaviour
  • Building for the future

Although typically held between a manager and their team, these conversations and the accompanying changes in mind set can also transform relationships with peers, customers and suppliers.

In today’s work environment, amongst all the jargon, processes, performance management, KPIs, email, social media , we have forgotten a simple truth :

…. the power of authentic, two-way, human conversations to build relationships, trust, engagement and performance at work.

Throughout history people have talked to each other – face to face, using gesture and touch, smiles and frowns, sharing hopes and fears – to build trust and relationships and collaboration, and to get things done.

The 5 Conversations programme takes communication back to its roots, with a scientific and theoretical underpinning, and a practical focus that keeps human emotions at its core.

Managers, team leaders and directors often don’t feel they have the time, courage or knowledge to develop truly close, authentic working relationships with their staff.

In their 2009 report to Government, David MacLeod and Nita Clarke identified that one of the four broad inhibitors to effective engagement by an organisation’s leadership and management was:

“…managers may not share the belief, or may be ill-equipped to implement engagement strategies”. (1)

Furthermore they found that:

“…many respondents to the review stressed the need for better training for managers in so-called soft or people skills, both as part of the current syllabus for business qualifications, and more generally.”

Through participation in the programme and study of the book, managers will understand the human and neuroscience background to human emotions and engagement, why holding the 5 conversations is critical, how to hold them, and most importantly – have the confidence and insight to be able to hold them.

1. McLeod D and Clarke N ‘Engaging for Success: enhancing performance through employee engagement’, Office of Public Sector Information (July 2009)