A Blog A Day - Day 6: Constructive Conversations

I've been thinking about types of conversations lately and what can be done to get the most out of them, especially when you are trying to achieve an outcome or influence someone.

I'm going to start by listing a few different modes of communication, which may be seen as negative (or neutral):

  • Offence - attacking, blaming, fighting
  • Defence - pushing back, making excuses, deflecting
  • Neutral - accepting, placating

Think of a conversation that you have had recently which didn't go so well:

  • Which mode was the other person in?
  • Which mode did you jump into?
  • What impact did being in theses modes have on the conversation?
    • on you and
    • the other person
    • what was the outcome?

Let's shift our attention to a more positive or constructive approach, a constructive approach is when you:

  • Look for a Win/Win solution
  • Find an alternative that is different or builds on both your ideas/points of view

The idea is to think about which mode you are in when communicating with others!

Ask yourself & potentially the other person, what would be more helpful now?

Pause and reflect and think about your next conversation and what are 2-3 things you could do to have a more constructive approach?

What is the one thing you are going to do or remember before going into your next conversation?


Francesco Caputo, ACC, is the ICF Australasia Victoria branch Treasurer. By combining Coaching and understanding of Personality in the work setting, Francesco empowers others to be their best and bring their best.