How a great conversation is like a game of catch

As a radio host, Celeste Headlee has engaged in her fair share of discussions and thought a lot about how to bring out the best in a conversational counterpart. One thing she likes to say: A good conversation is like a game of catch. She explains.

Click here to watch this interview on Facebook [20.28 mins]

Click here to download an edited account as a pdf document

10 ways to have a better conversation with Celeste Headlee

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

To download and watch this clip – click here [11.44 mins]

Effective Feedback


If you want to give feedback that is positive, keeps others on track for successful performance and leaves them feeling motivated to tackle future challenges you can use the following two types of feedback:


  1. Motivational Feedback – This usually starts with WHAT WAS GOOD….
    This helps someone to understand that what he or she is doing that is working well. It reinforces positive behaviours and actions – the more specific the feedback the more likely it is that they will understand and be able to replicate ‘the good stuff’.
  2. Developmental Feedback – This usually starts with WHAT WOULD MAKE IT (EVEN) BETTER….
    This helps someone to understand how to change what is not working well. It contains information on what they did or said (or didn’t do or didn’t say) and what the impact was.  It then offers ideas on how to do that differently in the future. The more specific the feedback, the more likely that the employee will understand and use more productive behaviours.

To read more about effective feedback, with examples and tips – click here to download a PDF version



Communications skills

Man giving lecture to three people in computer roo Developing your communication skills can help you with all aspects of your life, not just those related to the workplace. It’s never too late to learn how to communicate more effectively and improve on your skills.

Use the documents linked to this page to assess communication skills, what you do well and those areas that might be improved. The questionnaire will challenge you, while the scoring sheets will help you analyse your current skills and give you numerous tips to help you increase your capability.

For the most accurate reflection of your skills, we advise you to complete the scoring sheets before downloading the results pages.

To download the questionnaire and begin the process – Click here

To download a document to enable you to assess your skills, see tips, and begin to develop a plan to develop your abilities. – Click here

The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams by Kenneth Blanchard, Donald Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew

The alternative way towards better team-building, this is the bestselling management tool from the author of The One Minute Manager.

Most managers spend over half their time working with a team, and the One Minute Manager’s practical advice shows how any team can work better and more effectively. The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams explains the four stages on the way to building a high performing team: Orientation, Dissatisfaction, Resolution and Production and reveals how to tap the creativity and potential of people at all levels in order to become an effective group leader.

How to Grow Leaders: The Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development by John Adair

How to Grow Leaders is a ground-breaking book which sets the record straight on leadership development, the nature of leadership and how it can be taught. John Adair identifies the seven key principles of leadership development, and answers vital questions on how to select, train and educate leaders at team, operational and strategic leadership levels. In doing so he discusses topics such as the manager as leader, how people become leaders, how to manage leadership training, learning to be a strategic leader and training team leaders. Effective leadership is a crucial factor in business success. How to Grow Leaders will help you to develop these skills in others, whilst guiding you on your own personal journey towards excellence as a leader.

Effective Communication: The most important management skill of all by John Adair

In Effective Communication John Adair, Britain’s foremost expert on leadership training, will tell you everything you need to know to enable you to use words to their maximum effectiveness in order to persuade and really be heard Train yourself to hear what other people are actually saying Construct your correspondence and presentations to get across what you want to say in the clearest manner Improve your assimilation and understanding of the thousands of words you have to read every day. Including helpful advice on interviews, appraisals, giving and receiving criticism, conducting and participating in meetings, the use of visual aids, communication between departments and much more, this is the ultimate tool for improving your communication skills and helping you become a better manager.

Excellence In Business Communication by John Thill, Courtland L. Bovee

This text presents the dynamics of business communication with a lively, conversational writing style that takes students inside leading companies to (1) learn basic principles of business communication, (2) understand important communication issues, and (3) to profit from up-to-date discussions of the latest developments. *Focuses on actual companies and business situations to successfully demonstrate how business communication works. *Concentrates on the essential communication skills needed to succeed in business today – skills that help students gain a competitive edge whether as employees vying for corporate positions, entrepreneurs competing for sponsors, or small-business owners”.