|A question to ask always is whether or not your conversation design is breeding possibility or impossibility. Are we asking questions that look at what is possible, that look at overcoming our fears, or are we looking for things that emerge out of fears.
And example of the later is when clients ask me to design conversations around proposals or presentations. It seems to happen most commonly with government clients that they want to ask a variation of a question like “What do you notice is wrong with our proposal? What are we missing?”
Now it’s not a problem to explore new ideas, but questions like this invite people to come from a place of fear and anger and negativity. Instead, seek to design conversations around naming fears and exploring ways around them. “What ideas do we need to include to strengthen this proposal? How can we mesh those ideas with what we have already proposed?”
And of course none of that precludes people from calling out a completely wrong-headed approach. But the responsibility to tank something always comes with the caveat that a better proposal should be offered so that we can move forward. –