How do you create a great leadership conversation?

Recently I facilitated a collaborative conversation with a select group of successful leaders from a diverse range of organisations with the topic “When was the last time you had a great leadership conversation?”

This was not a presentation or a workshop, there were no power point slides nor was there a detailed agenda. Instead, this was contemporary peer-to-peer learning with an open agenda. 

We created a collaborative conversation, sharing real human experiences of what’s working and what’s not for leaders, exploring and challenging the ‘why’ behind these and enabling the insights and personal revelations that translated to practical actions.  

In the room we had leaders from big banks, highly entrepreneurial SME’s, social enterprises and government. What was common was an appetite to share insights and knowledge, a willingness to be vulnerable to learn from failure and an energy for continuing the conversation. Most of the participants were still deep in conversation in the room well beyond the facilitated session’s close.

Powerful sharing of stories brought home to many in the room the impact of storytelling for creating connection, revealing our authentic selves and setting the foundations for trust.

The three steps that we explored for creating great leadership conversation were:

1.    Be clear on the why – why are you having the conversation? How will you use it to create hope and inspire? Why will others listen?

2.    Visualise the what - what does the conversation need to achieve? What do you want as the outcome? What will people feel? What do you want them to do next?

3.    Create the how – how will you be present? How will you prepare? How will you show up? How will others know what to do next? 

This was learning that went beyond institutional programs, leveraging cross organisational and industry experience for shared learning amongst peers with content based on real human experience. 

The benefit was practical, take-aways real and connections made will energise learnings well beyond the room.

Let me know if you’re interested in being part of a select group of leaders for the next invitation only great leadership conversation.