Talking in Teams

...get more engagement and clarity, raise the calibre of your team-talk and make every Team Conversation really count

Teams that talk well together tend to stick together. Many of us work together for years on end yet never take time out to work on our team-talk. If your team never discusses openly how we come across to each other or the way we talk together, you’re probably perpetuating errors and omissions in the way you see and relate to each other… 

About this Program...

Communication or the lack of it, is a constant complaint in most teams. At the bottom of better teamwork is the ability to have better conversations. They’re at the core of constructive teams – the way we stay in touch, build bonds, exchange ideas, sort out plans, fix problems and take action.

Better conversation means better teamwork. The way teams talk together is a telling indicator of morale, culture, climate, performance and team cohesion. It’s a key element in the effective functioning of any team. 

Yet while we engage in them all the time, the importance of becoming more skilled at conversations seems to escape us. Many of us work together for years and never take the time to reflect on how we come across or talk to each other.

It’s as though conversations are so fundamental to everyday life, most of us never stop to think how we might become better at them. If your team’s never talked openly over how you work in with, and come across to, each other, you’re probably perpetuating errors and omissions in the way you see and relate to each other. And that’s what this clinic is all about… 

Purpose and Profile:

This 1-day fast-track of our longer Leading through Conversations program, covers 7 principles for improving your team-talk along with a useful set of foundation tools to replace dysfunctional debate with the art of more skillful discussion.

Talking in Teams aims to help you and your colleagues learn how to:

Talking in Teams - what we cover

Whether you’re a team leader or team worker, you explore how to apply a range of easy-to-learn discussion tools you can deploy in all sorts of settings in a supportive, safe and fun practice environment.

Topics and tools we touch on include…

Talking in Teams

What Can you Expect?

Part of the appeal of our clinics is you get to practise in a safe, small group environment on new strategies for managing conversations in a more mindful and effective manner. 

We think people learn best by doing, so we give you lots of practice to build your confidence to use the tools back at work, backed up by a comprehensive self-coaching guide to support your continued learning

What People Say...

More Themes for Learning

Is this course for you?

Whether you’re a team leader or team member, knowing how to use different tools to have more constructive conversations is a vital yet overlooked area for better teamwork, better leadership and better performance. This clinic is suitable for both team members and leaders. And we find leaders who come along with a contingent of their team representatives often gain a lot more from this clinic

Ideally, for leaders wanting to become more adept with conversations generally, we recommend coming along to our full 2-day Leading Conversations program. If you’re looking to develop better skills for handling difficult conversations,  see our long running 2-day Dealing with Difficult Discussions program for leaders or its 1-day fast-track Tackling Tough Talks. For conversations about performance, our  Positive Performance Conversations clinic is for leaders and for staff our in-house clinic Making Performance Conversations work for You prepares people for better outcomes with these often troublesome conversations… 

Talking Effectively in Teams Pocket Guide


Take-away handy-sized pocket guide full of tools and actions you can tap into to build on what we cover in this session…

More about Conversations...

The Change Forum offers a number of learning programs to help leaders and teams improve their Conversational Mastery, including handling difficult conversations better. Follow the category link above. We also provide a number of free FactFiles, Articles, Newsletters and other resources to subscribers to our membership site. Subscribe Today to enjoy the full range of resources we offer.

Upcoming Courses & Events

See our online Course Calendar for where and when this program is next available publicly; as well as other Change Forum programs on offer in your area. If you’d like to arrange an In-House event tailored to suit your needs, get in touch below.

Start a conversation with us!
Contact Bill Cropper on

(+61) 0429 687 513

(+61) 0429 687 591

(+61) 07-4068 7591

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High Tension Encounters

High Tension Encounters (HTEs) happen regularly in any workplace  offices, schools, hospitals, councils, work-sites, factories… 

The negative impact of poorly-handled HTEs on colleagues, customers, patients and work-teams is well-attested. Whether it’s toxic personalities, inveterate arguers, belligerent bosses or conflict-ridden contrarians, HTE’s distract from productive work focus, detract from good results, debilitate teams, distress and unsettle us, and create caustic cultures in the long term…

  • The frequency of HTEs has been measured in several settings. For example, one study found 85% of us experienced chronic conflict in our work-lives, with 30% saying it was always or highly frequent. 
  • In schools, principals on average say they have five difficult encounters a day, while another study of operating theatres reported at least 1 and up to 4 HTEs among surgical teams per operation. 
  • Another study reported 64% said they were dealing with a toxic personality in their current work environment and 94% said they’d worked with someone toxic at some time. 
  • Other studies reveal that school principals are abused on a regular basis by parents and 91% of nurses reported verbal abuse from physicians or patients, with 10% saying they witnessed disruptive physician behaviour daily. 
  • The ongoing impact of these HTEs exact a significant emotional toll, with one study suggesting negative encounters affected people five times more strongly than positive ones.

The customary line is that conflict is beneficial – it clarifies, corrects, changes and leads to better solutions and decisions.

Yet another line of thought suggests something quite different: that it has prolonged negative consequences that undermine relationships, trust and collaboration as well as distracting from task-focus and wasting resources in prolonged conflict mediation processes that largely don’t work.… 

So, whether or not it is sporadically constructive, in many instances conflict it seems is damaging, harmful and linked to high stress and staff turnover. 

Building conversational capability to better deal with difficult HTEs may not reduce their frequency but it can help us to handle them better, have more constructive confrontations and mitigate some of the negative consequences that follow on the heels of unregulated conflict.

© Bill Cropper – The Change Forum 2023

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