WHAT WE DO

We work with individuals, teams and organisations to help them to have conversations that get things done.

In that process your people get to understand themselves and the people around them a lot better - especially the stuff to do with feelings and the other, near-invisible things that go on in conversations which can make or break a good outcome.

For us it's about drawing out what your people already know: their experience, their personality, what they feel, what they really want. The very things that we all bring to work but are often reluctant to address - never mind mention.

Our top priority, whether we're there to work with just one person or the whole organisation, is to help you to create an environment in which people know it's OK to have a real conversation - to talk about what's really going on.

WHO

Founded in 1989 by psychologist, Dr Paul Furey, we are a closely-knit, well-trained team of eleven practitioners that support individuals, small groups and whole organisations to run their businesses in open, honest ways that enable people to flourish.

Paul's doctoral research focused on the use of empathy in quickly turning difficult business exchanges into helpful conversations.

THE REAL CONVERSATION

A real conversation can occur when the people involved have learned to look after the process of the conversation whilst also taking part in the content. It’s this ability to look after the behaviour alongside the agenda which will enable your people to tackle the really difficult stuff - and get to a solution much quicker.


HOW TO USE US...

Organisational culture and growth

You may wish to understand the way your people really are together – how they interact. We hold conversations and observation sessions around your organisation to help you to crystalise what makes you special, where the organisation is missing opportunities and how it could improve how people talk to each other and to your customers.

Typical timespan for success: 3-6 months

Team

Highly practical workshops for leadership teams to help them to strengthen their communication, and therefore their relationships and productivity. It can be hard for team members to stand back far enough to be able to spot unhelpful habits or to understand what might be going wrong between them. We bring an experienced, dispassionate outside perspective to help people to notice, speak up and accelerate their co-operation.

Typical timespan for success: 10-15 hours over 6 months

One-to-one development

For leaders who need to stand back and re-align their objectives with their approach to leadership, personality and their way of communicating. Life for senior individuals is crammed with pressure, activity and challenge – we provide structured, private time to pause, think, experiment and move on.

Typical timespan for success: 3-6 months

THE COMPANY

A Paul Furey original series

The company exists but you won't find it. The events portrayed here all happened - just not to our fictitious characters. Welcome to the company.

S1 : E1 STUCK AT THE TOP

It's the beginning of another glorious day just outside Reedsham in Surrey. The Autumn colours are starting to show in the trees and the people cycling into work at The Company in the last few days have been the first to notice the crispness in the air. Autumn is definitely here... and perhaps not just in the weather.

The company founded only five years ago, grew from 5 people in a small lab in the basement of a major university to 130 people in purpose-built accommodation set in rolling countryside nearby. But, like any startup, this one is having a few growing pains.

The management team in this hi-tech organisation have lost the confidence of their people. The CEO is trying to run the company from another continent where he has been seconded for a year by the parent company and his immediate reports lack the day to day contact with him to be able to give clear direction to the project teams. This is causing great tension amongst the local leaders who feel they can't move without his say so. They walk about their beautiful building looking tense and unhappy. They work very late. They are pretending to be happy.


Meanwhile, staff have decided that their distracted, stressed managers have lost touch with them and that they are ignoring the views and feedback of the people at the technical sharp end. The net result of all this is that the star project - a gadget which no one will want to be without - once they can get it working properly - is falling behind as people scrabble around for definitive guidance from the top.  

Out in the field, sales are out to lunch. Most of the time. The main thing is, they're not making any sales but they are having a lot of lunches. Nobody is asking them why.

Fortunately, the very nice but stressed management team are in touch with us at PF and we're helping them to understand not only that they really need to prove that they're listening to their people but that they also need to actually talk to each other - for real. They found this hard at first because more than anything they'd each build up all sorts of funny assumptions and stories about each other and then they had to tell one other what those were. That made for plenty of awkward smiling and a few tears (mainly from frustration followed by relief that it was finally out in the open).

Still, these more real conversations are already helping them to cut across the geographical and time boundaries just because now they are being more open with each other and there's a great deal more empathy between them because many of the assumptions have been blown. So, it's not perfect but people are now talking to each other which means that the guessing, and the negativity that results from that, are beginning to lift. And the wider team are beginning to notice as well.


In fact, over the period of just a few months the leaders concerned have regained contact with their teams. There are fewer complaints and individuals are 'dropping in' to their boss's offices again. Part of this process has involved them being much more open about the difficulties that they were having communicating between themselves as leaders so that staff can now much better understand the reasons behind the often contradictory instructions and all the weird moods and confusing reactions that they had historically been at the receiving end of.

Yup, things are certainly starting to feel a lot better around The Company.

But Doran is far from happy. As Head of Marketing, it's down to her to develop a growth strategy and quite frankly some of the products are well past their sell by date. She is going to have to tackle her exco colleagues - AGAIN. They're making an unholy mess of things by burying their heads. AGAIN.

Contact

Call Nicola Spridgeon

UK +44 (0)20 7871 2793

ns@paulfurey.com

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How to have a real conversation

October 25, 2019

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Empathy - What's Really Going On?

August 19, 2019

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Getting the hang of empathising is a long burn endeavour... so is it really worth it?

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