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Companies are working hard to win back employee engagement – employees are looking for better alignment, involvement, relationships and companies to be proud of.

One way we can make a difference at all levels of an organization is to learn how to engage better with each other through conversational intelligence. Conversation that connects us, creates positive emotions, and drives action is something most of us experience from time to time, so why not make it happen more often?

Think of a conversation in which you felt connected with the other person, interested, interesting, energised, and contented. It may well have sown seeds of well-being or motivated you to take some action. It could be anything from a micro-conversation to a long, thoughtful debate. That’s the force of engagement through conversation at its best.

Our conversation quality varies. We connect to some people effortlessly, with some superficially, and with others it’s always a struggle. Of course, even if you talk to people with different personalities, needs and interests every day, you may not be improving your conversational intelligence. Because speaking and listening are so natural to us and bound up with our identity, we often fail to see our gaps or the potential we’re not utilising. This is where coaching is so effective.

The improvements I see in communication skills are far-reaching: the managers I coach and their teams report being more connected, motivated, energetic, and efficient, and precious time is freed up.

Tips for engaging conversations


When people have difficult conversations, they tend to blame, usually the other person. “She just doesn't get it!” or “He never listens!”. Can you relate? I’m certainly guilty.

Simply learning to notice this tendency is a good place to start.

When you catch yourself judging the other person, acknowledge it with kindness

(we all do it ) and then release the judgement which is not serving you.

The same goes for when you notice any self-criticism.


Keep you attention on facts: words, body language, energy, and your intuition – intuition is real, and it is telling you something. Lowering negative emotions, enables you to think more clearly, creatively, and efficiently.


We’ve all gone into a meeting with a list of points to get across, delivered them, scanning our listeners for signs of support or rejection. Fast and furious may have some benefits, but it won’t score us any engagement points.

Of course, it’s useful to bear in mind that everyone comes to a discussion with their own agenda and truths, conscious and unconscious.

Keep these different perspectives in the back of your mind and get present. Give your full attention to the conversation. This way you will foster an engaging and enriching interaction.

Notice the tone of voice, the look in someone eye, the words they use, and ask questions to learn more. You’ll gain priceless information which can add value to the discussion and leave everyone feeling better for it.


Get curious about why you are really speaking to someone – usually to meet a need we have like a need to deliver excellent service, or to get some funding. How truthful does it feel to you? Can you reframe it so that it is more truthful to you?

The more clarity we have on this, the better. When you are clear on the why and it is aligned with your beliefs, your message is will come from an authentic, honest and confident place in a tone which will be far better received.

Find out how others perceive you. Many well-meaning and caring managers for example are shocked to discover they are seen as scary by their reports by virtue of their status. This affects how they speak to you and knowing this will help you develop a more engaging approach in future.


This is just the tip of the iceberg in the area of human expansion I am passionate about.

All my coaching programmes are tailored, so you might be wanting to develop your own skills, those of a team, or even refresh the entire company culture.

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you expand your conversational intelligence

to build engagement, let’s start with a conversation! Email me at

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