Discovery Conversations

The quality of the conversation we have is directly related to the quality of the questions we ask. 


Having a pocketful of compelling questions is powerful. So is knowing exactly when to use them.


Unconsciously, we can get in the way of the conversation that needs to happen. Instead of discovering we try to conquer. Often, focussed attention, skilled questioning and the ability to listen are needed more than giving advice or advocating our position. 



  • The right things get talked about.
  • We are curious and gain clarity before problem solving or giving advice. 
  • We have clear, concise conversations with tangible, meaningful outcomes. 
  • We have richer conversations that lead to unfamiliar thinking that take us to places we haven’t been before.
  • We get clear about the subject, agree on outcomes and know the process of getting there. 
  • We ask the right questions before jumping straight to the solution.
  • We get to the guts of the matter by building trust.
  • We make sure everyone is on the same page and holding the same book.

Types of discovery situations

  •     At the start of a relationship to develop rapport ie - with a new client, new staff member.
  •     Transitioning a conversation ie - from brainstorming to developing a plan or from planning to risk management
  •     Finishing a conversation ie - making sure there are clear decisions, clear actions and clear accountability
  •     When things are confused, bogged down or repetitive
  •     When wanting to develop greater meaning, insight or depth of conversation
  •     Risk management – when we need to know what might go wrong
  •     When we want people to open up  
  •     Meta Conversations – conversations about how we are going to communicate
I had a challenging, high stake conversation on the cards. I was stressed and procrastinating because I didn’t know how to approach it. After a couple of hours with Jane I knew what to do. I did it. It worked, way beyond what I had imagined possible.
— Logan Elliot, Managing Director, Highly Flammable