How to Design Conversations that Matter with Daniel Stillman

Why Does Conversation Design Matter?

Our lives are defined by the conversations we can or cannot have. Pause. Read that again – our lives are defined by the conversations we can or cannot have. 

From the bedroom to the boardroom and in all the hallways in between we design conversations with others daily. Not only do we have conversations with others, there is an ongoing conversation happening all the time, perhaps the most important one of all, the conversation we have with ourselves. When I came across today’s guest, Daniel Stillman it occurred to me that despite not only having but leading conversations day in and day out no one had ever really taught me the art of how to design one. 

How Has Communication Evolved Over Time?

Unlike most other areas where technology has eliminated previous methods, or made them significantly less desirable, communication is an area where the number of choices keep increasing. Today not only do we have the challenge of knowing when what type of communication is appropriate but how to best facilitate a conversation through it is equally as daunting. When should I write an email, how should I best express myself, should I make a phone call, how do I better engage people across my social channels, the list of how best to ignite a conversation is endless and today’s guest is here to share his method to the madness. 

Daniel Stillman on the Art of Conversation Design

While the number of choices and how best to utilize them can seem daunting, the opportunity it presents for anyone to have a voice and share their ideas is incredible. Leadership today is not just about having a title, nor do you need one. What you need is the ability to ignite conversations around your ideas. It’s my pleasure to introduce you today to Daniel Stillman. 

Daniel designs conversations for a living, and insists that you actually do that too. As an independent design facilitator, he works with clients and organizations of all shapes and sizes (From Google to Visa, to name a few) to help them frame and sustain productive and collaborative conversations, deepen their facilitation skills, and coach them through the innovation process. His first book, The Paper Airplane Experiment and the 30 Second Elephant is about origami and teams and yes, it’s as strange as it sounds. Daniel hosts, “The Conversation Factory” podcast where he interviews leaders, changemakers and innovators on how they design the conversations in their work and lives. He’s here today to share how we can better design conversations and give us a preview inside his new book, “Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter,” releasing April 2 with free chapters available for download here.

If you are a leader, a significant other or anyone who has conversations then this episode is for you! 

In this episode Daniel shares:

  • How the conversations we have with ourselves and the voices inside our head determine the life we live
  • The Conversation OS framework and how it can help you design better conversations
  • Why products, teams and organizations are also conversations and why it is essential they be designed to help drive business outcomes
  • The art of how we invite others into the conversations we have to create cultures of innovation
  • A preview into his new book, “Good Talk: How to Design Conversations that Matter.”

Connect with Us

I hope you all enjoy my conversation with Daniel Stillman, and as always we’d love if you tag us online and share your thoughts and takeaways. 

You can visit Daniel’s website here to learn more and connect with him across his social channels.

You can connect with me, Sabba on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter @AskMsQ or visit my website askmsq.com

I’m Sabba.

I believe that the future should be designed. Not left to chance.

Over the past decade, using design thinking practices I've helped schools and businesses create a culture of innovation where everyone is empowered to move from idea to impact, to address complex challenges and discover opportunities. 

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