“Talk less, work more! Today work increasingly consists of talk”  – Theodore Zeldin

In the knowledge/information age, increasing productivity and effectiveness is difficult because something has changed. What has changed is the very nature of work. People used to say “Talk less, work more”. Not now, because for most people their work is a conversation. Working means talking. And the effective organisations and individuals are the ones who are adept talking. We truly are living in McKinsey’s Interaction Economy.

The most powerful idea in the world today, is the idea of a real conversation.  Real conversations can create insight, influence thinking and bring people together to solve problems. Three conversations matter:

  1. Conversations with ourself, which shape our thinking and behaviours.
  2. Conversations with important others that aim to influence, inspire, negotiate, coach and facilitate.
  3. Conversations that surround our own and provide the context and meaning to our own conversations. This is culture.

To make these conversations real, we need to bring greater consciousness to what’s happening in the conversation – who are we, what are we trying to achieve, who is our audience, what do they want to achieve, how do we tailor our conversation to different people/situations.

Those are the moments that count!

Once we understand the importance of conversation, we can use conversation to build trust.

Inger Lise E. Greger, MSc. Change Management 


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