Job Dialogue Café

Practice

Making all conversation about work short, simple and smart!

As a consultant, trainer, facilitator, and author, I’ve created and explored many conversation formats about work, used for everything from recruitment, performance management, coaching that are usual 1:1, to conversations with teams and large groups. Many are quite complicated and take quite a bit of work to master. But things do not need to be that complicated.

I found out that there are only two types of conversations about work that we will always have. One is when we need help. I want to hire someone for a job, project, task. Two is when you hired a person who is not doing well in helping you. We call it then feedback, performance review, coaching, bad news, absenteeism, etc.

And yes, I know good managers will also have a conversation if you are doing well. But we see managers who forget to do this. He will not forget the two previous ones. So how to overcome this complexity?

A Job Dialogue is a conversation about work were people share on an equal basis their most relevant issues in an atmosphere of trust and respect. The Job Dialogue we aim at is short, simple and smart!

The CACTUS canvas is a format that you can use for a Job Dialogue and is the result of many years experimenting and improving conversations about work. It is easy to teach, easy to use, enjoyable for participants, and provides powerful insights in a short amount of time.

Rather than attempting to master different strategies for different situational conversations, try out CACTUS. It works for 1:1, small groups of 3-4 persons, or for a large audience with people split into small groups. It can be used in a formal setting or an informal setting.

Job dialogues are related to recruitment, hiring, onboarding, job crafting, reviews, coaching, promotion, teambuilding and exit interviews.

Guide
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Work conversations with CACTUS

The CACTUS job dialogue 'cafe' is a structure you can use for all work-related conversations. Using it results in high-value, high-impact communication that creates genuine bonds between people.

This Guide will walk you through the steps to take to run a successful Job Dialogue Cafe session using CACTUS.

CACTUS works for groups of 2, 3, or 4. Groups of 2 will take ~30 minutes (with transitions), groups of 4 will take ~1 hour (with transitions).

Here are three suggestions for when to use CACTUS:

  • As the opener for a training or workshop: It's a great way to connect people, get them thinking about how the event relates to their work. The act of listening to others can also make them more receptive to the rest of the day.
  • As an agile coach or scrum master: Another good way to use this guide is with team members. Participate with 3 team members in one Cactus session, and you will learn what's really happening with that team without forcing anything.
  • With a colleague you would like a better working relationship: CACTUS will connect you in new ways and give you insights into the other person's views, work style and motivations. If there is a key relationship with someone at work that you want to boost, this guide will help.
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