THE FOUR CONVERSATIONS: Daily Communication that Gets Results

by Jeffrey Ford and Laurie Ford

AWARDED #1 BEST BOOK IN MANAGEMENT by 800 CEO-READ
Rated #5 BEST BUSINESS BOOK by Toronto’s The Globe and Mail


Talk is powerful. Engaging in the right conversation at the right time is key to both personal and organizational success. And it’s not just ‘difficult’ or ‘crucial’ conversations that matter. The Four Conversations is a book (and now it’s also an online program too) that clearly demonstrates everyday dialogues needed for successful, satisfying, and productive relationships. In this book you will:

  • Discover how even little changes in the way you talk can produce extraordinarily positive outcomes,
  • Learn to get maximum results from four types of everyday conversations, and
  • Explore ways to put these four conversations into practice using sample dialogues and personal stories.

Armed with a solid body of research plus their own first-hand observations, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford describe four types of conversations that each of us can use to get things done: Initiative Conversations to introduce something new; Understanding Conversations to engage people in new ideas or processes; Performance Conversations to support commitment for taking specific actions and producing specific results; and Closure Conversations that complete the past and create a sense of accomplishment for yourself and others. Learn about the specific ingredients that make each of these conversations useful and effective — and see how the conversations can be put together in different ways to achieve different objectives.

“The Four Conversations” demonstrates how to use the right conversation at the right time — planning and starting each one well, and finishing conversations effectively — to improve the productivity we need while strengthening the value and connection that people want and deserve. Through dozens of personal stories and sample dialogues, the authors illustrate how real people in real situations have used the four conversations to effectively address common workplace problems and lay the foundations for enduring success: better relationships, stronger engagement in reaching goals, and an authentic sense of personal and professional achievement for everyone.

No Follow-Up? Management is Missing!

One of Jeffrey’s MBA students sent him this email (edited for brevity here) a while ago. The “lessons learned” here deserve to be shared: Professor Ford, In 2010, I worked at the United States Forces Iraq Headquarters in Baghdad.  I was part of a communications cell that developed communication plans in support of named operations […]

Closure Conversations

Management is Communication… Plus…

Conversation at a lunch meeting with a world-class manager the other day was centered around one word: “tracking”. Jake said, “Communication is important for managing, but the way I know if someone is going to be a good manager is when they tell me they are good at tracking.” Tracking what? Tracking certain communications! Jake has […]

The Four Conversations Effectiveness Training Course – Available Online

Executives and managers have taken these programs with their supervisors and staff. Now you can get the same instruction on using The Four Conversations at a fraction of the cost by taking the online course.  Managers and team members can learn how to reduce and eliminate barriers to workplace success and accomplishment using four ordinary kinds of conversation more effectively. Just click here.

Listen to a Podcast with Jeffrey Ford, co-author of The Four Conversations:

Todd Sattersten, CEO of 800-CEO-READ, interviewed Jeffrey about The Four Conversations.  Click here to listen to that interview.