Posted in Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Drilling down… the key to a good conversation


“What is the most important thing we should be talking about today?”

Susan Scott’s book Fierce Conversations asks this as the first question of the model mineral rights.  The principle being,

“If you’re drilling for water, it’s better to drill one hundred-foot well than a hundred one-foot wells.”

Every time you start a conversation how many tangents do you go down before you hit the core or the point that really needs to be shared. Scott suggests starting the dialogue with the line:-

What is the most important thing we need to talk about today?

The response might be slow and there may even be silence, however never underestimate the power of silence.  Let the recipient process and find that core to the conversation they have been longing to have for a great deal of time.

When you dig down for minerals

“It is the right of the owner to exploit, mine, and/or produce any or all of the minerals lying below the surface of the property”

Therefore you need more than the first question to get to where you need to get to.

Susan Scott’s model in summary:-

  • Step One – Identify your most pressing issue  – What is the most important thing we need to discuss today?
  • Step Two – Clarify the issue
  • Step Three – Determine the current impact
  • Step Four – Determine the future implications
  • Step Five – Examine your personal contribution to this issue
  • Step Six – Describe the ideal outcome
  • Step Seven – Commit to action

Scott says “the greatest gift we can give another is the purity of our attention”.

Please do contact for a workshop on “Getting the most out of your team members”


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