For any organization to achieve its goals people need to interact, and those interactions require dialogue and conversation. And yet, thanks to technology, we seem to be having fewer genuine conversations than we used to. It used to be that instead of talking face-to-face with people, we would call them on the telephone. Then we faxed them. Then we emailed them. Now we text them or 'connect' through social media. In an increasingly mediated, technologically networked world, conversing one-on-one can seem a bit old fashioned. It is much quicker and easier to press a few buttons or click a mouse. Especially when the conversation we need to have might be a tough one we've become 'more mouse that trousers.'

The question every contemporary manager must address is: How often am I using (or even hiding behind) technology when a person-to-person, face-to-face conversation is possible, or preferable? Simple, everyday, supportive conversations are the building blocks of effective relationships; they establish the context for more difficult, challenging conversations by building acceptance and understanding. The ability to hold meaningful and constructive conversations is one of the essential skills leaders at all levels of organizations must develop. Indeed, if there is a mark of leadership, it must be the courage and competence to talk openly, clearly, fairly, and confidently about issues that matter the ability to have conversations at work.

Endorsement for Conversations At Work 

"Don't wait until the dreaded performance review to deliver or receive the good and the bad read Conversations at Work to embed freer communication on the job, every day, and reap the benefits of a more positive, energized workplace. Tim Baker and Aubrey Warren have kilfully broken down the elements required to become a highly successful communicator!" Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and Wall street Journal #1 Best Seller Triggers

"Tim Baker and Aubrey Warren insightfully show that conversations underlie culture, psychological contracts, accountability, customer focus, and leadership. They then offer specific and helpful tools to diagnose and excel at workplace conversations. Any leader who uses their ideas will dramatically improve." Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan Partner, The RBL Group

"Aubrey Warren and Tim Baker remind us of the power and potential of our conversations to enable change and create cultures of learning and growth." Maureen Shriver, CEO, The Center for Leadership Studies

About the authors

Dr Tim Baker is an international consultant and Director of Winners-at-Work Pty Ltd. Winners-at-Work is a consultancy that specialises in leadership development, change management and assisting managers to develop productive workplace cultures. In 2013, Tim was voted one of the 50 Most Talented Global Training & Development Leaders by the World HRD Congress. He has conducted over 2,430 seminars, workshops and keynote addresses to over 45,000 people in 11 countries across 21 industry groups.
Aubrey Warren is an experienced communication and leadership trainer, lecturer, coach, and writer who has contributed to the professional development of thousands of people across Australia and internationally since 2001. With a background in media production, Aubrey has published The Situational Leader e-newsletter since 2007. He is Australia's Situational Leadership® master trainer for the Center for Leadership Studies in the USA and teaches communication and leadership for the QUT Graduate School of Business and its executive development programs.

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