Conversational Wisdom: Impactful performance conversations

Performance / Employee Experience

Client: Leading health and beauty retailer, and pharmacy

Relationship: August 2018 – Now

Sector: Retail


In their words...

"The response from our leaders has been overwhelmingly positive, with many saying it was the most impactful learning experience they’ve ever had. Already our leaders are putting their personal learning into practice, feeding this forward to their teams and driving positive change in their business areas. "

Adam Goodman-Smith
Leadership Development Manager / Boots

View LinkedIn profile


Boots employ approximately 56,000 people in the UK.  In September 2017 they rolled out a new leadership initiative ‘Real Time Performance Leadership’ to help create a culture of having real time leadership conversations ‘in the moment’.

They recognised a wide range of conversational ability within the leadership population and chose to collaborate with Conversation Space in order to strengthen the skills in having conversations that get results.

The purpose of the engagement was to:

  • shift mindset around performance conversations
  • start developing confidence and skill in holding the essential range of leadership conversations.


In partnership we developed two distinct offerings:

Conversational Wisdom Masterclass for Leaders and Managers

3.5 hour Conversational Wisdom®️ Masterclass followed by a half day group coaching, including actors to bring performance conversations to life, designed to:

  • give participants the opportunity to understand what good performance conversations look like
  • develop their ability and increase their confidence to face into these necessary conversations
  • reflect on their own level of comfort/style
  • practice and refine their personal approach
  • get constructive feedback from their peers

Area Manager Conference Speaker Session

A fast-paced 80 minute session delivered to 200 leaders focused on:

  • the latest research that underpins why the quality of set-up conversations in Boots matters
  • why so many Leaders forget to be true to themselves and ‘human’ in their conversations
  • how you can build trust and boost engagement by strengthening human connection through your conversations
  • useful practical ideas that will support you to have truly impactful conversations – everyday.

“I ​really enjoyed the capability session and the chance to learn more about the colleagues in my team. It’s definitely something that I will replicate with my own area team, it felt good and that means we can achieve more.” 

Area Manager, Boots


The Conversational Wisdom® approach and tools are being used within Boots to foster and grow a wider conversational culture to help colleagues build engagement through everyday and more formal conversations, and to help drive and live their values of Trust, Partnership, Care, Innovation and Dedication.

The next phase of development during 2020 is to use group coaching sessions to provide a further stretch opportunity and to develop the Conversational Wisdom® of target populations.

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