Tag Archive for: dialogue


It was an afterthought.
Leaving for the office yesterday afternoon, I nipped back upstairs and picked up my box of CCS cards.

The Task

Later, as I started the meeting, I asked each participant to consider a question and then select three cards they regarded to be an answer to the question I posed.
Each participant was holding an identical pack of cards, with the same photographs, illustrations, and words.
Attentively, I watched as each member of the council started to thumb through the deck and select some images that captured their personal point of view.
I smiled, as I watched their faces light up, obviously amused as they shared and compared images with one another, they’d found interesting.
I was struck by their concentration, and evident delight in finding suitable cards that meant something to them in answer to the question I’d asked.


Then, after some time, in our safe space, it was time to share.
I explained a little and observed again.
Quietly, deeply, respectfully, each person asked themselves “what is it that I most want to communicate”?
Randomly, one by one, each person articulated their thoughts with great depth of clarity and understanding, allowing them to speak about what was in their hearts and minds.
The personal insights shared were powerful and thought provoking.
Each participant said something that was true for them and everyone else respectfully listened.
It was clear as participants felt safe to share their half-formed ideas, and discover new meanings in a simple image, the energy in the room began to gather, and the atmosphere started to deepen for the dialogue that followed.


The purpose of the simple activity was to help participants to uncover and talk about their thoughts on the given subject.
Instead of getting down to business straight away as normal, it was just really nice to pause, talk and meet together as fellow human beings, by engaging in a meaningful conversation in a fun way.
It has been my experience as a facilitator, that saying something in a friendly, respectful, and informal way, early in a gathering, can set a pattern of full participation that can help maintain energy levels throughout any meeting.
Setting the scene yesterday, opened up a new way to ensure authentic dialogue throughout our meeting together, where crucially we really listened to one another.
How do you ensure authentic dialogue in your meetings?

Just Ask

After completing my university studies, I encountered Meta-Morphose, a specialist graduate sales recruitment and training company based in southwest England.
I endured a gruelling selection process and qualified for their programme.
Ultimately, with their assistance, I received a few work opportunities and subsequently embarked upon my sales career.
Although I was never the very top salesman, I did enjoy consistent success and over time managed several sales teams.
I also received a few accolades and for many years I was a judge in the UK National Sales Awards.
Sales eventually brought me into leadership, coaching, training and facilitation.
Early on in my career, I learned a very powerful lesson, that I want to share today.
In sales, most people spend the majority of their time and resources prospecting for new business, hunting down and finding new opportunities.
In my early days, there was a lot of cold calling, door knocking, direct mail, advertising etc.
Today, a lot of that now happens online.
However, I discovered that there is an easier and much more productive way.
It’s simple really, you just really have to remember to ask!

Would you like to know how?

The answer is asking for a referral.
Commonly known as a referral dialogue.
It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know that counts.
Most of us just aren’t sure what words to use.
You don’t want to come across as high-pressured or pushy.
Or you don’t want to put a strain on a relationship.
With the right words, in a conversation, all of these obstacles can be removed.
The key is to reframe a conversation into something you can easily repeat over and over again.
There are many ways to ask, but you simply need to remember and ask!
𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐀𝐒𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆!!!
Practice with a peer who wants to generate more referrals too and you’ll come up with some great examples to use.
I know that success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, routines, practiced every day, over and over again.
Go on – give it a go today, you’ll be surprised how effective it is!
Just remember to ask!!