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Strengths-based conversations are rooted in positivity. Start by looking for the best in others because you might just find it. Consider for a moment what it would be like for you to have a conversation that brought out the best in you and the other person.

Try these 5 steps to improve your conversations:

1.       Get clear on the best possible outcome from the conversation

Remember that what you think, you create. Before you begin an important dialogue with anyone, get clear on what an ideal outcome looks like.  Consider the win-win scenario you want to create where both parties feel heard and understood. Know where you might be willing to compromise to move forward with this person.

2.       Know which of your strengths best support your conversation

Regardless of where Communication falls on your talent list, you are still responsible for being a good communicator. Read over your Signature Strengths and decide how they can add value to a conversation. For example, Relator might bring depth and personal connection to the conversation. Activator might be the spark that’s needed to inspire new actions. Responsibility might contribute to a conversation of mutual accountability.

3.       Guide the conversation with the other person’s strengths in mind

Appreciating the lens or perspective of the other person builds connection and common ground.  Integrate the language of the other person’s strengths into the conversation. This helps the listener relate to you and more easily take in what you are saying.

4.       Ask for feedback and adjust where needed

Asking for feedback is an excellent way to know how you are being received. It also gives you the opportunity to adjust your approach before the conversation goes down a rabbit hole. Ask the listener, “What thoughts do you have about what I just shared?” or “What are you experiencing as a result of this conversation?”  Depending on the response, you may need to address what’s coming up for the listener then you can continue your conversation.

5.       Ensure there’s a common understanding and define the next steps

Before you close out a conversation, give both people the opportunity to recap what they heard and understood.  Make a commitment to combine your strengths with theirs to create forward momentum. Thank the listener for the conversation, appreciate their strengths, and acknowledge any progress you both made even if the conversation was challenging.

Co-authored by Sara Harvey and MaryAnn Gramig

Copyright © 2023 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup® and CliftonStrengths® are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.

Sara Harvey

Founder & President, innertelligence

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