Add Conversation to your Strong Week Plan

This is so simple to do, very enjoyable, and hugely effective. All it takes is our being intentional about DOING it:

Robin Sharma, author of The Greatness Guide, includes conversation as one of his “best practices.”

He writes that he will be sure to have “at least one conversation with an interesting person each week to keep my passion high and to surround myself with big ideas. A single conversation can change your life.”

Can you think of single conversations which have had a lasting effect on you?

How would you be a giver in a Weekly Interesting Conversation?

How would you be a receiver?

[From the Talking Story Archives: How good (and gracious) a Receiver are you?]

This is a very simple exercise I am going to spend some time exploring, tracking it in my own Strong Week Plan, for I can see where these deliberately held conversations would help me feel stronger. How about you?

Postscript: 9 Key Coaching:
Are you working on any of these MWA Key concepts right now, and could you blend in this idea in some way? A few top-of-mind thoughts:

  • Key2: Ho‘ohana – ‘interestingness’ is a preliminary warm-up, and baby-step toward discovering your more passionate intentions
  • Key5: Language of Intention – conversations are like the puzzle pieces of our language, and some we give, others we receive
  • Key 7: Strengths Management – your Strong Week Planning is the way you self-manage your strengths, and we know that habit-building is the secret sauce of a a Strong Week Plan
  • Toolbox Possibility – If you have been using the Daily 5 Minutes for some time now, how could this idea of a Weekly Interesting Conversation revitalize your practice?

I can think of others, but I prefer to hear from you in the Kākou spirit of peer-to-peer coaching:

What 9Key coaching would you suggest to us?


  1. says

    Rosa: yes, brilliant! . . . now I feel the need to come up with the juicy questions to ask which will initiate these weekly dynamic conversations. –What would be yours?

    • Rosa Say says

      Aloha kakahiaka Ka‘imi, I am laughing a little bit – but joyfully so – for I feel like you have thrown another Talking Story posting right back at me, but in a good way! This one: Do you ask Good Questions?

      In that posting I talked about framing:

      Questions are sort of like paintings: There is a vast array of different ones, and though the painting stays the same once the paint has dried and set completely, the painting can look completely different to you depending which frame you put it in —or if you use one at all. Good questions come from good intention: Once you ask a question, the words which ‘paint’ it are said. But how did you frame them, and why?

      So, in keeping with this exercise this morning, I would frame my questions with the giving or receiving part I mentioned in mind, tailored to the person I want to engage in conversation.

      Personally I think about my Strong Week Plan: Who am I enrolling in the goals or objectives of my present projects, and how do I want them to be involved – as my giver, or my receiver? Then I would try to frame the question in the way that the context is immediately meaningful to them.

      If I was simply looking to have a great conversation with someone I admire, I would likely go right to the heart of the matter, saying something like, “I am so intrigued by the work you are doing with ________. What triggered it for you to begin with?” or “Where do you plan on taking this next?” I would want to discover their Why [connects back to this for me: Leadership is Why and When and discovering how they are feeling about their own self-leadership.]

      Mahalo nui for the question Ka‘imi, for I feel like we have just had our own virtual conversation here!

  2. says

    Now that is one juicy answer; thank you, Rosa. And so now I have, indeed, accomplished my goal of a conversation with a wonderfully interesting person this week. Mahalo for helping me to keep my passion high and surround myself with great ideas!

    • Rosa Say says

      It is not yet 10am on Monday as I write this Ka‘imi, so we both are off to a great start for the week! Mahalo for kicking this off to show all of us how easy this is :-)

  3. says

    Asking good questions is always a challenge for me, but I find that the more conversations I engage in, the better my questions become. Practice makes perfect. In sales, we learn that open ended questions are wonderful for encouraging thoughtful responses. Why did you start your business? How has it changed because of the economy? What are you planning to do next year? Unfortunately, these questions often come out as, When did you start your business/ Has it changed because of the economy? Are you planning to do anything different next year? Limited response questions shut down conversation … So mainly I try to focus on “why” and “how” and not worry too much about the rest of my question!

    • Rosa Say says

      Great adds Brad, mahalo! “Practice makes perfect” is a good adage to remember with conversations – I think we do get better by practicing them because we feel more and more comfortable having them.

      And I love the examples you shared on open versus closed questions. We hear that advice a lot, but the examples given are often too simple, and not with the nuances you have given us – thank you so much.

  4. says

    Joining in with a rather straightforward question: What is a Strong Week Plan? Where can I read about it? Is it a plan for a strong week, or a strong plan for one week (excuse me joking around here)? No, I am really interested in learning about it…

    • Rosa Say says

      It’s a good question Ulla, thank you! Certain practices are so much a part of me now I will forget that I have not routinely explained them here, so you give me a great opportunity to do so.

      A Strong Week Plan is a strength habit I was taught in my strengths-management training certifications with the Gallup Organization, and I have incorporated it into the Managing with Aloha organizational culture via Key 7 of my 9Key Concepts. In 2007 Marcus Buckingham brought awareness of this habit to the business book genre when he published Go Put Your Strengths to Work.

      When the book was released, employee engagement expert David Zinger and I did a community reading and learning project at Joyful Jubilant Learning on strengths management, with Buckingham’s book one of two we used. This was the first post, and there is a full index at JJL with more. I know you are a JJLer, and you will see the index on the category drop-down menu there in the Sidebar.

      Essentially, the Strong Week Plan is an approach where you proactively schedule those activities you have identified as strength-aligned for you into your week – and you do so each and every week, building the lifelong habit of living and working on your strengths, so that your weaknesses become irrelevant to your more significant goals.

      A Strong Week Plan is a great habit – it DOES strengthen you, making you feel much more confident and effective. I highly recommend Buckingham’s book, for it is done in a self-coaching, self-paced format: I regularly recommend it within my coaching programs – and you will continue to hear me talk about it here!