3-Ways to Foster Great Business Conversations
Ever found yourself involved in a conversation where you could feel the magic brewing? Ideas and creative thoughts were flowing? You were with the right people and in the right environment? You were in a groove!
Chances are you were in a place where your mind was open to others opinions, ideas, and wisdom...you were collaborating, brainstorming, or creating some really great strategies.
You leave that event, dinner, meeting, etc. saying to yourself…’Wow, that was amazing!’ And then you ask yourself how can I create that same type of experience again?
Conversations can help you achieve great things, whether that conversation is with your team, a group of friends, or a bunch of business colleagues. There are many reasons when we need to create conversations for specific reasons.
Many people discount the important factors that made that specific event perfect. It probably didn’t just happen…there were a few stars that aligned that made you and all the others click just right.
Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change is a book written by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon. I’ve had my copy for a few years and it is well read, highlighted and marked up...it's one of the resources that has been instrumental in helping me design really great strategy conversations with clients.
I spend my days designing strategy conversations that are based on creativity, emotion, and aligning all those stars. You can do the same thing with your clients, team or business colleagues…here’s a few important tips to help you create that perfect conversation:
- Know what your objective is before you start. Are you interested in brainstorming in your conversation or are you looking at more of a strategic conversation? Either way, know which one and make sure your group knows the objective.
While most conversations need to happen organically, it takes a skilled coordinator to move the conversation in subtle ways in order to keep it moving in a productive manner.
- Maybe that perfect conversation happened around a table at your local coffee shop or in your local business club. Maybe it happened over a glass of wine during a girl or guy’s night out. Moments of impact are created when your inner creativeness is inspired.
Selecting the right environment is critical in putting people in their creative zone. Find a place that is visually appealing and comfortable. When people come in they immediately feel good and inspired. Even places like a restaurant or a park can fit this criteria depending on the group.
Know what makes your participants feel creative, comfortable and at ease.
- Getting a group together to talk about a new idea or product? Make sure you select the folks that will inject into the conversation in a productive and positive way. Those people with skills that add a benefit to the discussion; enjoy creative debate but are respectful to others. Trust and respect are big triggers for pulling a group together, as well as someone who can help you meet the objectives.
When the participants trust and respect each other, they will be more open to the collaboration and brainstorming process.
Don’t leave the environment, topic, or attendees to chance. And most importantly don’t make the conversation feel like an orchestrated agenda. Keep it flowing, moving, and as natural as possible!