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'Tools to create meaningful conversations'

"Is the conversation you are having with your coworkers, boss, team members and even yourself meaningful? If not, then it is time to change the conversation! This is just the book to give you the tools to create more meaningful conversations."

—Clark Handy, Senior Vice President,
Global Human Resources-Convergys Corporation

'Improving Communication Style'

"I love Shawn's book 'Conversations for Change.' We've used some of the examples to help us during a difficult time with an employee and it worked really well. This book is a must read for those who wish to improve the results they get from others, by improving their communication style."

—Marie-Claire Ross,

Conversations for Change® book

Reach your maximum potential by mastering twelve essential conversations

Conversations for ChangeIn the book, CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE®: 12 WAYS TO SAY IT RIGHT WHEN IT MATTERS MOST helps you reach your maximum potential by mastering twelve essential conversations. The seminar and coaching process take your learning to deeper levels.

Whether you're trying to motivate a team, negotiate a contract, make a sale, ask for a raise, land a new job, or terminate an employee, the conversations you have will either help you succeed or undermine your goals. Communication expert and leadership coach Shawn Kent Hayashi has spent two decades studying how the things people say impact their business and professional lives. In CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE®: 12 WAYS TO SAY IT RIGHT WHEN IT MATTERS MOST, she not only identifies the twelve most important types of conversations people have, but shows you how to reach your maximum potential by using these conversations effectively.

Foundations for Every Conversation

In order to communicate well first master three fundamentals, says Shawn Kent Hayashi. These are:

  • Building emotional intelligence. "When you are aware of what you are feeling, you can begin to speak about it in a way that builds rapport," explains Hayashi. Emotional intelligence is essential not only for understanding yourself, but for recognizing your emotional wake -- the affect your words have on people. For example, at the end of a meeting, are team members angry because they think they haven't been heard, or do they feel excited about what they're working on?
  • Understanding work place motivators. Figuring out what motivates you, and what motivates others, will help you build connections. Whether you're trying to win a contract or gain permission for a flextime arrangement, recognizing what drives those you're seeking to convince will increase your chance for success. Hayashi discusses the six basic motivators, or value, that show up in the workplace, and how to identify them in yourself and your colleagues.
  • Recognizing and adapting to communication styles. Communication styles differ in many ways. Your boss may prefer to make decisions during a conversation, while someone else may like to mull things over. Some people think aloud. Others prefer to think things through alone. Hayashi has identified four distinct communication styles, and says that, by recognizing your own style and the styles of others, you can learn to adapt how you deliver information. Readers of CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE, can take a complementary self-assessment to identify their personal communication style.

Using the Twelve Conversations

With these fundamentals in place, it becomes possible to tackle the twelve conversations. In CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE®, Shawn Hayashi details each type of conversation, explaining when to use them and how to develop them, offering specific phrases to start each dialogue, and warning against common mistakes. Some people, she points out, will be naturally better at certain conversations than others. Hayashi's advice, practical tips, and dozens of examples of "conversations done right" will make it possible to become good at all of them. For example:

  • Conversation for Connection: If you are attending a conference; interviewing for a job; meeting new coworkers, employees, or bosses; or working with a new client, a conversation for connection is in order. Hayashi advises asking open-ended questions and then really listening. "The biggest mistake professionals make in the work place with regard to conversations for connection is that they either do not have them at all or the rush through them," she writes. Without them, you lose out on the chance for an expanded network and new windows for opportunity.
  • Conversation for Conflict Resolution: When there's chronic tension, anger, or resentment, it's time for a Conversation for Conflict Resolution. "When people are afraid of conflict and do not know how to handle differences of opinion, innovation does not occur," writes Hayashi. The key to addressing conflict is to create a healthy discussion of differences in needs and wants with the intention to be engaged and solution-focused. Hayashi warns against ignoring a conflict because it might go away or screaming, yelling, and bullying. "You might be surprised that someone can do these things without being aware of them," she notes. Good ways to get started are inviting the other person to share his or her perspective, and exploring areas of agreement as well as disagreement.
  • Conversation for Appreciation: If you're grateful for progress that has been made, or want to say thank you in a meaningful way, you need to show appreciation using language that will be most significant for the other person. Making people feel appreciated is vital for building momentum, says Hayashi. She details four basic ways of showing appreciation in the workplace -- affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service -- and cautions against common errors, such as thanking one person for the efforts of a team, and not being specific about what is being appreciated. "When accomplishments are not acknowledged, tight, cold critical cultures are created" she points out.

The other conversations include Conversation for:

  • Creating New Possibilities
  • Structure
  • Commitment
  • Action
  • Accountability
  • Breakdown
  • Withdrawal and Disengagement
  • Change
  • Moving On

No matter where you are in your career, or what challenges you're facing, there is a conversation you can create to move yourself forward. Easily readable, CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE®, along with the online assessment, will give you the beginning tools you need to have those conversations successfully, enabling you to grow your career or your business in brand new ways. 


Click here to see the Discussion Guide for Conversations for Change

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