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Tuesday 15 October 2013

Bite-size pieces: a checklist for collaborative conversations

Here is a 'top ten' checklist for collaborative conversations. I quick read through before meeting with partners will encourage mutual understanding, help develop relationships and support collaborative effectiveness:

  1. I am talking with you not at you.
  2. I am very curious about you and your story.
  3. I am finding out about your view of the world and the problems and issues you feel we must address.
  4. I am listening to understand rather than gain information that helps me prepare my next argument.
  5. I am asking questions because I want to listen to and appreciate your answers rather than gain confirmation of my own views.
  6. I am aware of what I am saying, how I am saying it and the effect it is having on you.
  7. I am not afraid to say I am unsure or that I do not understand.
  8. I am saying what is on my mind and what you need to know rather than what I think you want to hear.
  9. I am aware that I do not have all the answers; that is why I am talking to you.
  10. I am working hard at unearthing and challenging my long held assumptions about you and our work.
(Acknowledgement to


  1. I particularly like No 8, Charles; the world is full of people who parrot what you want to hear though skilfully avoid you when you're not in fashion!

    1. Yeah, unfortunately so (but there are also some honest people out there, here and there... You just have to keep a look out).