Having the Conversations You Need to Have NEW

Event factfile

Date of event: 19 November 2019
Event ends: 19 November 2019
Start time: 09:30
End time: 16:30
Price: Exclusive to members of The Henley Partnership *Up to 2 Places*
Having the Conversations You Need to Have NEW


Change doesn’t happen until people start talking about the tough and important things in business. And yet individuals, teams and organizations all have a tendency to avoid difficult conversations. They sideline, resist or neglect having the hard discussions about what behaviours have to change, what issues are too uncomfortable to address and what decisions and strategies need to be revisited because the world has changed.

In this unique masterclass, David Clutterbuck explores practical tools to manage constructive challenge in all three contexts. Among issues he will dive into are how to encourage dialogue that values difference, how to seek and use powerful questions and how to identify and initiate the conversations that need to happen but don’t. Join this session for specific strategies and skills, and many ways to resolve what’s slowing the pace in most of modern business.

Key Learning Outcomes

By the end of the event you will have:

  • Greater clarity about the kind of conversations organisations and people can choose to have – and how they can choose these conversations more wisely
  • A toolkit of practical approaches to change the nature of dysfunctional conversations, everywhere from the boardroom to the customer interface
  • Increased awareness of your own conversational preferences and how to adapt these to circumstances
  • A strategy, at least in embryo, for improving the quality and quantity of dialogue within your organisation

Event Content and Delivery Style

This workshop will take both a practical and an evidence-based approach to the issue of raising the quality of workplace communication when it is under threat from multiple sources. Such threats to communication include fear to speak up, lack of time and an over-reliance on text and email when a short human-to-human conversation would achieve so much more.

Among topics we will explore are:

  • Seven kinds of workplace dialogue and how to encourage each of them
  • Creating psychological safety and ‘voice’; what are the silent conversations in your organisation?
  • Understanding the organisational narrative, and the collective lies we tell ourselves to avoid difficult conversations
  • Surfacing and working with conflict as a driver of constructive challenge
  • Dealing with those difficult ethical topics that are ‘too hard to tackle’
  • Raising the quality of conversation in meetings
  • Creating the capacity for honest conversations – appraisals, development and planning
  • The dangers of adopting a ‘feedback culture’
  • Using coaching and mentoring as safe spaces to practise dialogue
  • How assumptions about political correctness hamper learning and open dialogue – and what to do about it; working with the conversations of the ‘diversity awareness ladder’
  • Creating a pragmatic strategy for changing the organisational conversational culture

This is a workshop on conversation, so expect a lot of dialogue with co-participants. Be prepared to challenge each other and your own assumptions. We end the workshop with a reflection on the conversations that you recognise need to happen within your organisation, between you and other people, and the ongoing conversations you might usefully have with yourself.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is aimed at HR professionals wishing to make an impact on the culture of the organisations.


The primary theme is ORGANISATION and the secondary theme is ENGAGEMENT.

It is relevant to the development of Communication, Conversation, Conflict, Influence, Engagement.

THP, The Henley Partnership.

David Clutterbuck

David Clutterbuck

David Clutterbuck is a visiting professor at three universities, as well as at Henley Business School. One of the original pioneers of coaching and mentoring, he co-founded the European Mentoring & Coaching Council, for which he is now Special Ambassador. He is author or co-author of more than 70 books and leads an international coalition of independent coach and mentor educators, Coaching and Mentoring International. His research into why the wrong people so often get to the top kick-started the systemic talent management movement and found that the quality of conversation was a key component of the psychological contract between employees and employers.

*Per member organisation. “Up to” indicates the maximum number per member organisation, it is not an allocation of places. All places are subject to availability at the time of nomination. Nomination Forms are dealt with on a first come first served basis and a place cannot be booked or held without a fully completed and approved Nomination Form.

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Contact Us

For more information please contact The Henley Partnership Team by email at thp@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0) 1491 418 855.

Getting There

Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus

Henley Business School,Greenlands,Henley-on-ThamesOxfordshire