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Tips - Cultivating Trust: The Daily Dialogue Guide with the Communication Bible

Last year, as part of the Team Development Program for Inkmason, Beijing, we introduced 'From Strive to Stride,' focusing on enhancing communication skills crucial for effective leadership. One such vital skill was mastering the art of conversing with team members. While seemingly basic, initiating conversations, especially those involving coaching or feedback, can pose significant challenges for many leaders. How does one cultivate a trusting, human relationship within a business-to-business context? What questions should be asked? And how should one begin?

To address these questions, we developed a list of inquiries based on Eric Berne's 'Levels of Communication' framework. This framework, distilled into five levels, serves as a powerful tool for building trust and fostering meaningful connections in professional settings.

Level One - Getting acquainted

- How are you today?

- Everything OK?

- Do you have any question to me?

- Can I help you?

>> Let's talk about it.

Level Two - Sharing of facts

- Tell me what happen.

- Walk me through the steps.

- What is the status now?

- Tell me how you did it.

- Tell me about your challenge or difficulty.

>> I understand the situation and process now, thank you for sharing with me.

Level Three - Sharing of ideas

- What is your idea?

- What is the risk?

- What do you need now? - How should I support you?

- What is the next step now?

- What made us success/fail? Why?

- What did you learn?

- How should we do next time?

>> Thank you for letting me know your ideas and concerns, it is important for both of us to understand the situation in the same way.

Level Four - Sharing of emotions

- How do you feel about it?

- Why is it important to you? (Why you care about it)

- What do you think people will feel about it?

- What brings you to this stage?

- How should I (and/or the team) do more to support you?

>> It is important for me know how you feel about this, thank you for your honesty.

Level Five - Rapport

- We have mutual understanding

- We have consensus now

>> Thank you for your trust!

As part of the Team Development Program at Inkmason, we've crafted a comprehensive toolset called Communication Bible designed to enhance communication within the organisation. This card set provides a structured, step-by-step process rooted in Eric Berne's 'Levels of Communication' framework. By guiding users through targeted questions and conversation prompts, the toolset aims to facilitate meaningful dialogues and foster trust in workplace relationships.

Each card in the Communication Bible contains a curated list of questions corresponding to one of the five communication levels, enabling managers and team members to navigate conversations with clarity and purpose. By strategically placing the cards at different points, users can create targeted conversation sequences, progressing from one level to the next as discussions evolve.

Whether utilised for daily individual catch-ups, weekly team building activities, or monthly strategy sessions, the Communication Bible empowers leaders and teams to engage in productive dialogues, fostering stronger relationships and driving collective growth.



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