Asking well-phrased open questions - and listening attentively to the
answers - can literally change the mindset of the person being questioned. Exploratory, appreciative questions create new neural pathways, forming new connections, yielding valuable new insights and creating new possibilities.
For many of us, conducting conversations like this feels counter-intuitive. It feels easier to direct a conversation that to explore. It is more assuring to express our own views than to solicit another's.
Yet the ability to ask openly and listen attentively can transform relationships between individuals, within teams, and with clients and contacts.
Tongues In Trees offers a range of programmes that enable individuals and groups to communicate more powerfully, covering leadership, team working business development, negotiation and strategy planning & execution. Incorporating the principles of appreciative enquiry, executive coaching and behaviour economics, they enable participants to communicate more openly, to uncover new, previously hidden information, and to generate deeper relationship insights.
Programmes are tailored to firm’s individual needs and working practices, and often involve a combination of workshop and one-to-one coaching.
WHY IS ASKING AND LISTENING SO HARD?
Most conversations are acts of assertion not exploration:
We want to appear knowledgeable - we fear asking questions implies ignorance.
We want to be in control - we fear answers to questions may lead us outside our experience.
We want to make our point - we fear listening closely to another risks abandoning our agenda.
We want to act quickly - we believe the speed of change demands that we offer instant solutions.
Thinking into the client's world.
Realising that you don't have all the answers (and not being defensive about it).
Discovering the client's key concerns and business drivers.
Helping the client to discover the critical value you can offer.
Using storytelling in our work environments to inspire and mobilise teams.
Understanding the neurology of storytelling and the innate structure of stories to enable us to navigate complex, uncertain worlds.
Leadership and teamworking
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