One of the things that clients most appreciate is our suite of tools for collaborators. In creating this toolkit we sought to ‘bottle’ as much as possible of our collective experience, philosophy and style, so that clients could bring that to their own work without requiring us to be in the room.

On the theme of making difficult conversations safer and get more learning together, here are three tools designed to help people talk and learn across different views, experiences and opinions. Each comes from the section of our suite concerned with encouraging exploration of issues prior to making decisions. Use them in any meeting or workshop. Note that each tool is designed to help people release their strongly-help ‘positions’ – if only briefly – and to go deeper. For more about this see .

This process asks people to have a go at articulating the reasons and rationale behind the opinion that they don’t support. In other words it encourages me to put aside my ‘position’ and walk in the shoes of another, if only briefly. Use it when you want people to really consider other perspectives before making choices.

This process pairs people up and encourages each person to use generative questions to explore the thinking behind the issue at hand. What you are really doing here is making it a little more likely that different perspectives will be drawn out, heard and more deeply explored, prior to making decisions.

This process is a variation on Practice Curiosity, with a key difference being that each person in a pair is invited to first be curious about and then to advocate for the position that they don’t hold or the view they disagree with. Once again it encourages people to listen as loudly as they speak – an important part of any effective communication.

If you are facing conversations that you fear may be ‘difficult’ and if you are looking for some ways to make them both safer and more useful, why not give these processes a try. Let me know how it goes, and feel free to be in touch if you’d like me to talk you through it prior to your meeting.