Let People Talk


Let People Talk “Let’s take a coffee break.” Finally! The best part of the conference. Because we can talk, we are free to connect, and we can exchange in the way that works for us.

What if, rather than forcing people to listen, we create the conditions to Let People Talk. As leaders, our role is to tap the collective intelligence - to let people talk. Unfortunately, the trends of transparency, social networks, guru watching and short-termism have diminished real conversations.

Today’s complexities and multifaceted issues require authentic conversation. True dialogue is not only refreshing, it is the best way to navigate the paradoxes we face. Being a conversationalist breeds inclusiveness, collaboration and engagement.

The goal of the conversations we need is not consensus, it’s breakthroughs. We need diverse voices to stimulate thoughts, challenge each other and uncover insights. Sitting down with others, for intentional conversations, is still the best way, to find answers to tough questions.


Conditions for Conversation

Think about great conversations you have had. They had a purpose. They could have only happened with the people who were there. You had the time. You had the energy. If you want to foster conversations that matter, you have to recreate these conditions – purpose, partners, time, energy.


Talking Time

You can start by building ‘talking time’ into your projects, conferences and events. To make ‘Talking Time’ really productive, structure the time and guide the process.


Intentional Discussions

Let serendipity and spontaneity play a role while you set the scene by clarifying the intention of the conversation. Ensure the purpose is clear, and let people feel why it is important. Establish the central question – you may set it up in advance, or let the group decide – but when you hit on the right question it should feel like spark to everyone’s mind, position and curiosity.


Structure Group Dialogue

Make the most of time by setting some boundaries - resist the temptation for conversations to go on and on. Having a deadline gets people into action faster and makes for greater intensity. Set up a series of conversations that build on each other: first diverge, then converge; or talk about issues, then options, then actions; make SWOT analysis breakouts, or by PMI – the Pluses, the Minuses and the Interesting grey areas.


Start a conversation. Create strategic dialogue. Be a meaning maker.

Stimulating Ideas & Building Futures