Four stage conversion model for successful people management

Four stage conversion model for successful people management
Businesswomen discussing and having fun

In this article we will discuss four types of conversation regarding:
– relations;
– opportunities;
– favorable circumstances;
– action.

All four of these types of conversations can be part of a single, more detailed conversation. They can also take place separately, at various stages of a process or project.

Relationship Conversation

This is a conversation-acquaintance. What kind of task you can accomplish with these people depends on your relationship with subordinates. The boundaries of this relationship determine what you can tell each other and what you can ask each other about. The field of activity is limited by the scope of your relationship. 

Think about your first meeting with someone at the reception: the first few minutes are a prime example of a conversation to build relationships. Business conversations to establish relationships do without social conventions and searches for common interests. They create the relationships you need to achieve your goals. They establish the conditions for such a relationship.

Such a conversation should occur at the very beginning of any business relationship. Perhaps it will have to be repeated when the boundaries of relations begin to become blurry or become forgotten. Very often, during the transition from one task to another, it is necessary to again outline the areas of responsibility and authority. So this is a topic that, most likely, you will have to return to quite often.

Conversation for establishing relationships, its key questions:

-What are the boundaries of our authority?
– Where can we start?
– What relation do we have to the issue that we have to solve?
– What connects us?
– How do we look at things?
– What do we agree on and how do our opinions differ?
“Do you know what I do not know?”
– How can I be of service to you?
– How can we better understand each other?
“Can we rely on this together?”

Talking to establish relationships sometimes causes tension and awkwardness. As a result, we often spend them in a hurry or pretend that they are not necessary at all.

Opportunity Conversation

This is a conversation study. It is similar to the stage of “perception”. This is an attempt to look at many things in a new way, to establish differences, without giving them an assessment. This is a conversation of questions. The conversation is not to decide what to do or whether to do something. It is needed to obtain the maximum amount of new information and develop ideas. 

This is a very subtle matter, partly due to the fact that the possibilities are always very uncertain, and partly due to the feeling that the interlocutors value each other. Since you control this conversation, you must be careful. Make it clear that the time for decision-making has not yet come. Encourage your interlocutor to share his thoughts with you, assuring him that he will not have to answer for his ideas. Try not to give ratings or criticize.

Use the ladder of conclusions. In particular, handle the emotional side of the conversation very carefully. This is exactly the moment when people tend to express their feelings. Recognize these feelings and try to find an explanation for them.

Conversation to identify opportunities, its key questions:

– What is the problem?
– What are we trying to do?
– What is the real problem?
– What are the real actions we are trying to take?
– Is this the problem?
“How could we look at it from a different angle?”
“Can we give it a different interpretation?”
“How could we do this?”
– What does it look like from the point of view of another person?
– How is this case different from the past?
“Have we done anything like this before?”
– Can we solve this issue easier?
– Can we divide this task into stages?
– What does it look like?
“What does it look like, or what do we feel?”

Opportunity Conversation Talk

Such a conversation echoes the stage of “bestowal” of the YARD. A conversation to identify opportunities is needed to identify what actions you could take. It mainly relates to planning. The transition from opportunity to opportunity lies through evaluation. When determining opportunities, you are primarily interested in setting goals and identifying obstacles.

Favorable Circumstances Conversation

This is such a conversation during which you give more than you receive. After all, most likely you know more about opportunities than your subordinate. Have this conversation in order to decide what to do. Estimate what you need to achieve the result: resources, time, support, skills. Go through the available opportunities in search of the most suitable. Try not to take away potential opportunities at this stage by focusing your eyes on those that are truly favorable. It is often easier for people to achieve their goals than we can imagine.

Conversation to identify
Favorable Circumstances, its key questions:

– Where can we act?
“What could we do?”
– What are your options?
– Which of these features are most suitable?
– What is our goal?
“Where can we run into obstacles?”
“How do we know if we are successful?”

Very often, conversations on identifying favorable opportunities end in nothing – we imagine that there are very few such opportunities. You can make the conversation more eventful and exciting by asking yourself what your true goal is. Imagine yourself in the future when you have already reached your goal. 

What does it look like? What’s happening? How do people behave? What do you need to do to achieve such a future? Start moving back from the supposedly achieved result, identifying the steps you need to take to make this happen. Such “reverse planning” can very often help you find new and simpler opportunities.

Conversation about action

Parting conversation defines action. You agree on what to do, who will do it, and when it should be done. Moving an opportunity into a plane of action requires more than just consent. You must make a promise, an obligation to work.

Managers often say that one of the biggest challenges in managing people is getting action. “Have you noticed,” one of the senior directors recently told me, “that people never seem to do what they are obliged to do?” Finding the agreed actions to the end can be a time-consuming stage. Talking about action is the first step in early warning of this problem. It is imperative to capture the promises received from the conversation.

Conversation about actions, its main stages:

A conversation about action is the interweaving of needs and promises. It takes a specific form.

– You ask the other person to do something by a certain date. Make it clear that this is a request, not an order. Orders can lead to instant results, but they rarely generate dedication.
– The other person has four possible answers to your request:
– he can accept your request;
– he can reject it;
– he may promise to accept or reject your request later (“I will let you know no later than …”);
– he can make a counter proposal (“I can’t do this, but I can do …”) *
– the conversation ends with a promise (“I will make X for you by the time Y”).

Such a four-stage model of conversation, whether in its simple form, DVOR or in a more complex form, attitude-opportunity-opportunity-action, will serve you well in many issues that you have to face as a manager managing people. Some of your conversations will include all four stages, some will focus more on one of them. But it is very important to remember that all these conversations will be really effective only when you conduct them consistently.
The success of each conversation depends on the success of the previous one. If during the conversation you are not able to achieve a result, then this information will implicitly proceed to the next conversation. For example, issues that were not resolved during a conversation to establish a relationship may result in a conflict of opportunity, hidden issues, or a “clash of personalities.” Unexplored opportunities become lost opportunities. And promises to complete the work, which do not have true interest, will later create managerial problems.


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