Productive Business Conversations

Productive Business Conversations  is two-day program that provides a compelling and systemic approach to using dialogue as a major resource to transform organisational culture. The program is based on Prof Chris Argyris’ groundbreaking research at Harvard on organisational behavior and action science. Peter Senge later popularised this work in his seminal book “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organisation”.
Productive Business Conversations teaches a solid foundational skill set vital to daily workplace communications. These skills are taught in a clear, understandable manner with a set of tools that can be applied immediately.
The practical advantages of Productive Business Conversations skills stand out as the most valuable of individual, group, and organisational development investments an organisation can make.

Dr. William Noonan initially developed Productive Business Conversations under contract to Shell Oil Company. Shell realised that in order for their transformational change programs to be successful, they needed a whole new thought and communications skill set to support them.

Executive Leadership Australia (ELA) is proud to be able to offer this program in Australia under licence from Dr Noonan. The program consists of a series of facilitated discussions, engaging exercises, and video simulations.

Productive Business Conversations is offered both as an in-house and a public program.

The program utilises three primary skill-building tools:

  • Ladder of Inference: A tool to help reveal the thinking leading to conclusions
  • Left Hand Column: A resource for self-awareness and individual mental models
  • Inquiry and Advocacy: A set of practical conversational tools to increase learning from one’s perspective and others.
The program enables participants to develop the following skills:
  • To understand how their thought process works and how it influences their decisions and actions
  • An ability to process information by testing assumptions, values, and beliefs to determine what is valid and important to decision making
  • To communicate with clarity and engage productively with conflicting views
  • To build trust and empower others
  • To manage their own emotional volatility
  • To harvest the diversity of thinking

These skills provide the foundation for effective interpersonal collaboration and have proven to have a direct impact on performance and organisational learning.

Skills learnt in the  Productive Business Conversations program have direct application in the many key business activities:

  • High Performance Teams
  • Successful Meetings
  • Evaluating Performance
  • Generating Workable Ideas
  • Collaborative Relationships
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“This course breaks down communication, identifies what is effective, and tells you how to build back up to be successful.”
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“This program provides exceptional tools to develop and provides an excellent base for having difficult conversations productively.”

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