How to get open, honest, difficult communication. This large Northern California County probation department wanted to make changes at the top and bottom of the organization. The Chief was worried that if he waited for the top of the organization to get on board the bottom would lose patience, confidence and trust in him. He wanted to start a change intervention right away that would comport with the values and direction he would ask the top managers of the organization to support.

Key Issue:

What can he do at the line level of the organization that would (1) have a lot of value, (2) show that the new leader wants change, and (3) be consistent with other more wide spread change initiatives that were not yet planned?

We agreed that any change initiative would benefit from improved organization wide communication.

Everyone talks about improving communications but until now there really hasn’t been a powerful enough training tool.


The new executive worked with his management team and brought Taylor-Nelson into the organization to teach key managers how to train others on dialogue skills. Every manager and supervisor was trained to conduct dialogue lessons so they could immediately start making a difference where the tire met the road.

Most importantly, the organization now experiences managers and supervisors as supporting values of continuous learning and improvement. Managers and supervisors are walking the talk on the things that they are teaching. They are being seen as mentors, coaches and developers in addition to their traditional roles.