- Know your default. Find out where you tend to hang out in conversation, and look for where you could benefit from balancing out your default habit with more time spent in your non-habitual conversation types (e.g., if you tend to move quickly to Conversation for Action, try to spend more time in Conversation for Relationship, or try to be attuned to whether someone in the room might have that need).
- Notice conversation types around you. Whether in the room, on a call, or over email, pay attention to what’s happening in terms of conversation types around you. Work to bring the group into the same type of conversation. Consider whether one skillful move could address all three conversation types in your situation (e.g., “I see we need to do X, and once we do that, we can move to Y; after that, we will pick up with Z”).
- Understand the building blocks for working successfully with others; use the Clarity Checklist and what you know about conversation types to plan for great conversations that address the building blocks. As you digest what you are learning here about conversation types, go back to your Clarity Checklist. Notice how the Clarity Checklist includes all of the building blocks for working successfully with others. Also notice that the first third of the checklist items can be addressed by a Conversation for Relationship; the second third can be addressed by a Conversation for Possibility; and the last third can be addressed with a Conversation for Action.
- Study the conversation types and their breakdowns to be prepared to diagnose the cause of many common forms of impasse. When you suspect one is creeping into your meeting, go back to the conversation framework in this Lesson, review the tables, and try to draw out one or more of the items listed in the “what to listen for” column to correct the pitfalls and breakdowns you identify.
Don’t be discouraged if the conversation types seem complex right now. Pick one or two of the breakdowns or pitfalls that you see a lot of in your interactions and focus only on those for now.