Anthony Walker

Anthony Walker

Group Director

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Transforming conversations at Virgin Trains: part four

July 28, 2017

Virgin Trains’ needed to embed conversational skills throughout its organisation by delivering effective training.

Day four in the life of Virgin Trains

Having explored the importance of the Super-Skills™, Virgin Trains needed to equip its People team with the knowledge to transform organisational dialogue and to deliver the workshops in-house.

Working together with The Right Conversation, an organisational dialogue expert, the Super-Skills™ were internalised as a Virgin Trains programme. The skills are:

  • Presence: Maintaining undivided attention, really ‘being there’.
  • Hyper-awareness: Acute self-awareness of biases, beliefs and emotional triggers.
  • De-coding: Drawing out what the other person is really saying.
  • Voicing: Speaking out with courage and conviction.
  • Flow Control: Managing conversations – the beginning, middle and end.

Ready to see how the leadership team received and delivered their training?

Part four - turned it into a 'Virgin' programme and trained the trainer

Working closely with Stacey Pugh, development consultant at the Virgin Trains Academy, the Right Conversation designed a two-day programme which the People team attended as delegates. This was followed by a two-day ‘train the trainer course’, in which the internal delivery team explored and understood the core principles of great conversations and how to embed them into the wider organisation.

The workshops were designed with the Virgin Group brand very much in mind - informal, relaxed and, as befits the subject, conversational. The sessions involved around 12 people sitting together to explore the Super-Skills™ and how they should be embedded into conversations across the company.

Time was allowed for ‘zooming out’ so the team could discuss what was going on in society and therefore influencing its customers and employees. This allowed individuals to think about trust and organisations, and why people behave and communicate the way they do.

Training the management population

With the People team on board, the programme needed to be rolled out to the wider management population.

Want to find out more? Move on to part five to read about how the People team rolled-out the Super-Skills™ programme to Virgin Trains’ leaders and middle management.

Transforming conversations at Virgin Trains

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