August 7, 2018

12: Designing Conversations with Daniel Stillman

We have conversations every day. We have them with our family and friends, our colleagues at work, and strangers at the grocery store. We have them online. We have them in our heads. Most conversations happen organically, but what happens when you approach a conversation with the mindset that it is an experience which can be designed, and how does it transform the conversation and the outcomes? Daniel Stillman, conversation designer, and I discuss the ins and outs of designing a conversation in ways that build deeper human connections and achieve outcomes.

Key Takeaways:

  • A conversation should begin before you get together. Find a way to entice people to join you so that they want to be in the conversation.
  • Avoid being vague about the purpose of the conversation. Few people feel good about attending a meeting when they don’t know what’s going to be discussed.
  • End a conversation with intention. Reiterate the positive outcomes to elevate the mood.
  • Engage participants in giving feedback using the Rose-Thorn-Bud technique in which people need to share 2 things they like (rose), two that could be improved (thorn) and 2 ideas they have (bud).
  • Use drawing (instead of writing) to elicit new information and spark creativity. Drawing often relaxes people and lowers barriers.
  • Cultivate and sustain your internal conversation through a practice such as mediation.

Read the article based on this episode: How to Use Conversation Design to Transform Your Team

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Daniel’s podcast:

9 Conversations book:

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