Essential Skills for 4 Core Conversations

book-new-one-minute-managerLast week, I facilitated the Blanchard course First-Time Manager Essential Skills to a group of 25 engineers and technicians. This training course is based on the book, “The New One Minute Manager® by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson and teaches the essential skills for the four core conversations that the most effective leaders hold with their employees to help them reach their full potential. These four core conversations are as follows:

  • Goal Setting – This conversation lets people know what they should be doing, what the goal is, and why it’s important. The most powerful goals are clear (specific) and compelling (meaningful and motivating).
  • Praise – This conversation lets people know that they are on track with meeting the goal. The idea is to catch them doing something right so they will repeat it.
  • Redirecting – This conversation lets people know when they are off track, the impact, and how to get back on track so they can achieve the goal.
  • Wrapping Up – This conversation comes after the completion of a goal, task or project and lets people know what went well and what can be improved upon for next time. It’s an opportunity to celebrate success and capture lessons learned.

The essential skills needed to hold these four core conversations successfully are:

  • Listen to Learn – Actively listen with the intent of being influenced by being focused and fully present.
  • Inquire for Insight – Ask open-ended questions to draw out ideas from the other person.
  • Tell Your Truth – Be brave, honest and respectful in sharing relevant information to help the other person move forward.
  • Express Confidence – Highlight skills and successes and offer encouragement to build self-assurance and enthusiasm.

These four core conversations and essential skills are critical to successful performance management and keeping employees motivated and engaged. They are intended to be short, but impactful conversations. This training course offers templates and samples for planning each of these conversations and plenty of skills practice so participants gain experience and become more comfortable holding these conversations.

If you would like more information about this training course, please send an email to

 “The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people.– Ken Blanchard

 “Help people reach their full potential. Catch them doing something right.– Ken Blanchard

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