TalentTalker’s 4-Step Approach to Successful Development Conversations

TalentTalker is conversation technology that helps managers chat, coach and connect with their employees, by guiding them through this simple, 4-step approach to development conversations.

Ask top companies what their HR discussions are focused around today, and you’ll most likely be told ‘talent development’. It’s quickly becoming a non-negotiable in an organizations’ business strategy. In fact, the Association for Talent Development and human capital research firm, i4cp, found recently that four in five organizations now have a designated talent development leader – which proves that companies are seeing talent development as more than a simple tick box to be checked once a year in a review process.

But, while organizations may understand the importance of talent development for the future of their business, but they haven’t enabled their teams with the right tools to have development conversations about what an employee should start, stop or keep doing. Managers simply aren’t equipped to discuss development; they’re out of practice, and don’t always have the right words to use to guide a conversation with employees.

That’s where technology can be useful, by guiding managers through conversations they might not have performed often enough to do on their own. TalentTalker is easy-to-implement, easy-to-use technology that turns every manager into an expert coach, by guiding them through a step-by-step approach to development conversations. These are the 4 steps in TalentTalker’s process:

 

Step 1:  Pick a Conversation Context.

The best way to start a conversation is to make sure everyone involved understands its context. They need to be aware of the overarching theme of the discussion, so they’re not confused about what the conversation will entail. Picking a context creates purpose. The first step in TalentTalker’s process is to pick a conversation context. Choose from:

  • Performance Conversations
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Business Conversations
  • Inspiring Conversations
  • Leadership Conversations
  • Career Conversations

 

Step 2: Pick a Conversation Topic

Once you’ve selected an overarching theme, such as Performance Conversations, you can get more specific by choosing an exact conversation topic, within that context. If you don’t know specifically what you’re there to talk about, you’ll end up repeating information, talking in circles, or veering off topic to cover something else entirely; and everyone will be lost. Step two is to pick your topic to create focus. For example, if you selected Performance Conversations, you could choose from topics such as:

  • Improving Processes
  • Improving Customer Service
  • Delivering Work on Time
  • Increasing Motivation and Drive
  • Fostering Collaboration
  • Improving Responsiveness
  • Delivering High Quality Work

Within each selection, you can get even more specific by choosing a real challenge or opportunity to focus on. For example, if you’ve selected Delivering Work on Time, you could select a specific challenge, such as:

  • Planning Work
  • Focusing on Priorities
  • Managing Time

 

Step 3: Personalize the Conversation

Once the conversation topic has been selected, TalentTalker allows you to dive even deeper, by exploring a reason for the challenge, that is specific to the employee you’re talking to. So, while two employees might need help managing their time, one might find it difficult to say ‘no’ to people, while the other tends to act quickly without proper planning. In Step 3, the manager can personalize the conversation topic per employee, by selecting the ineffective behavior or underlying pattern that is preventing the employee from moving up…
For instance, if the employee needs to manage their time better, they may choose from reasons such as:

  • I delay doing unpleasant tasks
  • I don’t know ways to manage my time effectively
  • I need to make sure things are right and that takes time
  • I act quickly and spend more time doing and less time planning
  • I find it difficult to say ‘no’ to people
  • I can manage my time; other people’s demands on my time cause the problem

 

Step 4: Take Action

Once the manager and employee have spent time selecting and discussing the employee’s challenges and reasons behind them, they will be guided to the next step; the action. For every ‘reason’, there is a defined, outlined way to adapt and adjust the behavior, using the R2 principle; Rethink and then React. TalentTalker will guide the conversation through how an employee can Rethink their behavior, and its affects on their work, and then offer practical, actionable steps to take to React differently in the future. By doing so, the employee can commit to change – because they now understand what they change looks like.

Want to see if TalentTalker will work for your organization? Get a free trial of TalentTalker: