Crucial Conversations – a trainer’s view

Hear from our facilitator, Anne-Marie Baker

Ever since my first summer job In Ramsgate teaching English as a foreign language, I’ve always managed to include some element of training or teaching into my working life. From those early days of trying to explain the eccentricities of English grammar, I’ve always enjoyed simplifying concepts and passing on tools and tips to help us do things better –the joy of my class of German schoolchildren ordering their McDonalds with all the verbs in the right places.

Occasionally you come across a model, a concept or a way of thinking that makes a real difference. Something that you share with people outside the training room, outside of work and start to use yourself in everyday life.

This has been the case for me with ‘Crucial Conversations’ – a new offering from our Learning and Development team.
From the moment I was introduced to the content, I realised that this had great potential because the problem it aims to solve is oh-so-real. You’re asked to think about conversations you’ve had that haven’t gone well, that have left you angry, frustrated or just plain fed-up and demotivated. There’s certainly no shortage of real life examples to draw on.
The resources we have to deliver the course are the best I have ever seen. Particularly useful is the library of videos where actors play out scenarios, so nobody else has to.

What I particularly like about the content is that it gives you practical solutions that really do work. During the training, I share my own experience of being in a conversation that was going badly and quickly heading towards a familiar unpleasant ending. I decided to throw in something that I’d learned from Crucial Conversations. And held my breath. I’m not going to reveal here what I did – you’ll have to come on the training to find that out – but I can say the conversation U-turned immediately and suddenly we were in dialogue not battle and heading for a much better outcome.

And that’s the thing – the point of the course isn’t about having better conversations – it’s about getting better results from conversations. Organisations like ours are being held back by conversations that have poor outcomes.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to train this course and if I could go back in time to those schoolchildren I believe I would have served them better for later life by ditching some of the grammar sessions and throwing in a few tips from Crucial Conversations instead.

If you are interested in the 2 day Crucial Conversations training, places can be booked via Staff Connect.

Current available dates are:

  • Wednesday 5th and Tuesday 18th June
  • Tuesday 9th and Monday 22nd July