Conversational Capacity®

Keeping communication constructive when challenges or conflicts arise

Honest and open conversations foster teamwork, progress, trust, and just about everything else positive in the workplace. But poor communication derails important initiatives, wrecking morale and torpedoing projects. 

Conversational Capacity® teaches people how to engage in constructive, learning-focused dialogue when challenging topics or conflicts arise so they can make informed decisions and find the best solutions, even under high pressure. That’s where difficult exchanges become learning opportunities, and unfocused meetings become innovation incubators. 

Conversational Capacity

Discover how to build your Conversational Capacity

Conversational Capacity is the ability of an individual or a team to engage in open, balanced, nondefensive dialogue about difficult subjects and in challenging circumstances. It provides the tools to keep your conversations in the “sweet spot”—where learning, collaboration, and innovation are at their highest.

Conversational Capacity teaches learners the following:

  • Awareness: Learners recognize when fight-or-flight reactions prevent real listening and create discomfort in others. This awareness allows for a more intentional response to challenging conversations. 
  • Mindset: Exploring diverse perspectives and listening to contrasting views are emphasized because that is where the most significant opportunities for insights and growth are. 
  • Skill Set: Four behaviors are essential to Conversational Capacity: two that build genuine candor and two that build curiosity. Balancing candor and curiosity creates the conversational sweet spot. 

Delivery Options to Meet Your Needs

We can deliver Conversational Capacity in-person, as virtual sessions, as part of a learning journey, or delivered in a self-directed online or moderated online version, so your managers can learn the methodology wherever they are and whenever they have time.

1 Day Instructor-led Course  

The in-person course is one full day. With hundreds of facilitators worldwide, we can deliver sessions for your organization or equip you to run them yourself. Public courses are also available. 

Prework: LAUNCH — Welcome the participants and set the context for individuals and teams to reach new levels of performance through various activities to engage in open, balanced, and nondefensive conversations.

Session 1: LEARN — Defines awareness as the ability to recognize the two powerful emotional reactions and how they are essential for staying in the sweet spot.   

Session 2: PRACTICE — Defines the Conversational Capacity Skillset, which includes specific behaviors people can use to balance candor and curiosity.  

Session 3: APPLY — Introduces the Curiosity Skills, which highlights the advantage of having the humility to seek out information that might be missing and to understand others’ points of view. 

Virtual Instructor-led Course 

The Conversational Capacity virtual course includes prework assignments completed before the first course, with three two-hour live virtual sessions spread out over time. The virtual sessions offer learners an engaging experience that includes instruction, group activities, and opportunities to practice new skills. 

  • In the virtual sessions, participants develop new skills by completing activities based on personal work challenges  
  • Participants receive a set of online tools to aid in mastering the content and using it with others 

Collaborative Online Course 

Conversational Capacity can be delivered online in a collaborative, moderated class over five weeks, with assignments and cohort meetings once a week during one-hour live virtual inspire session. It is self-directed learning blended with discussions, exercises, reflection, and offline assignments. Participants gain skills for keeping conversations open, balanced, and productive, ways to maintain a learning-focused mindset, methods for overcoming obstacles to Conversational Capacity. 

Online Overview 

This 35-minute online overview teaches the core concepts of Conversational Capacity through micro-learning activities. Ideal for learners who need an overview of the content or a refresher, this course design can be used along with virtual and in-person sessions, or as part of a learning journey, to create more flexible learning experiences. Optional Reflect and Share sessions are also available.

Digital Assets  

Set of nine micro-activities ranging from one to five minutes that learners can use during moments of need. The playlist includes videos, activities, and worksheets on topics such as influencing up, tackling touchy topics, why arguing backfires, and leaning into difference.

Conversational Capacity: The Secret to Building Successful Teams That Perform When the Pressure Is On

Conversational Capacity provides the communication tools you need to:

  • Ensure that your teams remain on track even when dealing with troublesome issues
  • Respond to tough challenges with agility and skill
  • Perform brilliantly in circumstances that would incapacitate less disciplined teams
Communication can be a business driver or a derailer

Communication can be a business driver or a derailer

80% the U.S. workforce reports feeling stressed because of ineffective company communication. 63% have wanted to quit because ineffective communication interfered with their ability to do their job.1

Companies with better relationships and communication experience 20% higher productivity, 21% higher profitability, and 41% lower absenteeism. 2

1. Dynamic Signal, 2019 Dynamic Signal Study. 

2. Wellness Council of America,The ROI on Better Workplace Conversations.

Good Listeners And Communicators Unlock Your Workplace’s Potential

Conversational Capacity is the foundation for a positive and productive workplace. It redirects all the energy wasted in unproductive exchanges into channels that benefit people and the enterprise. 

Engage Employees

Engage Employees

When people have honest and meaningful conversations, morale rises and the workplace buzzes with enthusiasm. 
Spur Innovation

Spur Innovation

People share ideas. Colleagues contribute. A good idea evolves into a great one. That’s how innovation happens. 
Improve Productivity

Improve Productivity

The gap between what people say and what others hear closes. Miscommunication and misunderstandings evaporate, and real work gets done.

Client Success Story


The evolution of leadership development at Ericsson, Inc.

Learn how Ericsson combined Conversational Capacity® with SLII® and Building Trust for their Leaders Core Curriculum development program.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact us today to learn how we can help your leaders learn the skills they need to be more effective communicators.

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