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Jack Butler interviews Amiel Handelsman on Conscious Conversations | The blog of Jack Butler | Evolution Global | Home for Evolutionary Leaders, Global Citizens & Conscious Change Agents

Jack Butler interviews Amiel Handelsman on Conscious Conversations

amiel handelsmanThe more I evolve, the more I notice there are different types of conversations we want to be able to engage in (and often be explicit with ourselves and others – check-ins, drop-ins, briefings, conversations for possibility, conversations for action, conversations for relationship, holding space, feedback, witnessed inquiry, mutual inquiry, dialogue, debate, co-designing agendas, just off the top of my head.  And we are evolving new forms of being with each other to meet the life conditions and hyper-complexity we are facing.

In this show with Amiel Handelsman, we explore what it takes to be more effective in conversations – the things which are shaping our world all the time.

Amiel caught my attention when I learned how specifically and repeatedly he has his coaching clients practise speech acts, firstly with him and then in the world.  So I looked him up and picked his brain on the skills of expanding our conversational range and consciousness.

Listen here to my interview with Amiel Handelsman:

Show notes:

Amiel’s blog

Amiel’s book

Fernando Flores

Flores’ conversations for action

Getting Things Done (GTD)


From the timecode:

– 0:00  – welcome and intro

– 0:40 – Amiel’s journey to being a leadership expert

– 1:30 – what most inspires Amiel – working with people who are alive to themselves

– 2:15 – three types of conversation we can engage in – conversations for possibility, action and relationship

– 2:50 – how conversation is the world we live in all the time

– 3:40 -the crux of conversations for action: offers and requests

– 5:15 – Fernando Flores’ work – the 4 phases of an action conversation:  initiation, negotiation, performance, assessment

– 06:00 – the initiation phase, and how it ends with an offer

– 08:00 – the negotiation phase and how we are always negotiating (Donald Trump! 😉 )

– 08:45 – how we may need to balance ourselves with saying yes or no more

– 09:00 – expanding our repertoire of options – promising to reply later or making a counter-offer

– 09:45 – clarifying people’s offers and why this is really important

– 11:10 – timeline (the when) and conditions for satisfaction (the what)

– 13:20 – pitfalls at the negotiating phase

– 15:15 – fuzzy or slippery promises and how to spot them  [e.g. ‘cool, that sounds great’]

– 16:40 – considerations for saying yes – competence, availability – and premature yeses

– 18:11 – the performance phase

– 18:30 – why you need to understand speech act theory and how words bring the world into being

– 20:40 – Done!  And the importance of stating that you’re done

– 22:20 – Getting Things Done (GTD) – having clarity about what ‘done’ looks like;  renegotiating agreements

– 23:15 – responsibility to update on changes in conditions for satisfaction or cancelling promises or requests

– 24:20 – assessment phase – customer satisfaction (hopefully!)

– 25:30 – which phase which needs more skillfulness generally?

– 26:30 – taking on conscious practices

– 27:30 – practising counter-offers

– 29:30 – why you want to slow down when you practise speech acts

– 31:30 – approaching your practices by seeing what works – just like trying on clothes

– 32:00 – importance of somatic sensing

– 32:30 – the difference between on-the-job practices and anytime practices

– 34:30 – jedi leadership trick – setting an intention for a portion of the day, 30 or 60 minutes  (not the entire day)

– 36:00 – strategic asking questions to buy yourself time;  or counter-offing by keeping something in someone else’s court

– 39:00 – not saying yes or no in the moment – knowing when explicitly to counter-offer with needing a conversation for possibility

– 39:50 – turning towards vs turning away


About Jack Butler

Jack Butler is a social entrepreneur, coach, workshop leader and speaker. His latest venture provides full spectrum human development through coaching, programmes and other development resources for leaders and entrepreneurs. He founded Future Foundations (www.future-foundations.co.uk), a leading youth personal development training organization. He is a professional member of the International Enneagram Association and a former fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Jack was the IAB 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up and took a double first class degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Jack spends his time between London and Brighton in the UK and Boulder, CO and the Bay Area in the US. In his spare time, he enjoys physical challenges (3 Peaks Challenge 2010, Tresco Marathon 2006) and supporting The Simultaneous Policy Organisation (www.simpol.org.uk). He is a Partner in Passion and Purpose of the Grubb Guild, a voracious reader of personal, cultural and spiritual development, and likes to inquire, journal, travel and write.
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