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The Whistler Report

Talking Change - Three Conversations to Lead Change

Painting by JRC

What do you find more compelling when asked to jump on board with change – an email with your assigned change implementation tasks and due dates, or a one-on-one conversation with your boss to understand the personal implications of the impending change?

Conversations are key to leading successful change. Think of something you have aimed to change – at work or in your personal life – how many conversations did it take to finally make the change (and conversations with yourself count!)?
Here are three of the best conversations to engage in when leading change:

  1. The Why Conversation – identifying the compelling reason to make change is the starting point to gaining commitment from others.
    • Why change?
    • Why change now?
    • What will be better or different because of this change?
  1. The Impact Conversation – understanding people’s perceptions of the impact of change enables you to capitalize on enthusiasm or identify ways to bring people on board.
    • What will our team need to do differently due to the change?
    • What are the benefits of this change?
    • What is ending due to this change?
  1. The Personal Change Journey Conversation – reflecting on your past experiences with change will uncover your approach to dealing with, and leading, change.
    • What prompted the change?
    • What did you perceive you would lose from the change?
    • What convinced you to ultimately commit to the change?


This is just a flavour of three of the twenty conversations outlined in my book Talking Change: Must-Have Conversations for Successful Leaders. The key is to start talking – with people, not at people. I received the final print files for the book today, get on the list to be notified about your pre-order opportunity coming soon!  

Change takes many conversations. Some will be easy; some will be hard. From each one you will learn something new and take one step closer to successful change. Enjoy the conversation!