Ten Conversations for Working in High Action and High Alignment

 In Leadership Strategy

*This blog post is based on the “RBL APP,” “Ten Conversations for Creating Alignment and Action,” co-authored by Raj Chawla and Jolie Bain Pillsbury..

At the heart of leadership is the capacity to create results that matter to the people with whom you work and the people you serve. When you and those with whom you work have a common understanding and a shared commitment to achieve measurable results that matter to you all, then acting together effectively can become your daily practice. Having the ability to know the kind of conversation to have in a particular situation, to be in alignment and take action together, is a powerful leadership skill.

Identifying Levels of Alignment and Action

The first step is to notice the current level of alignment and action for yourself and those with whom you work. Find your places in one of the quadrants below:

High action, low alignment

A leader working actively and independently to contribute to the result, but not reaching out to build relationships with others to achieve complementary efforts.

High action, high alignment

A leader with resilient relationships acting on collaborative decisions and being accountable for measurably improving results.


Low action, low alignment

A leader observing what is going on and not engaging in either relationship building or taking action that can contribute to results.


Low action, high alignment

A leader joining with others and fostering relationships, but not using the relationships to leverage contributions to the result.


Ten Conversations to Create High Action and High Alignment

Once you know the situation you are in, the second step is to choose a powerful conversation that will move you toward or sustain you in the desired “high action and high alignment” quadrant.

That’s where our “ten conversations” come in to help. Perhaps you have wondered about the meaning of   our “ten conversations” website (and associated URL)? Each of our “ten conversations” covers a topic that is essential to creating or sustaining high action and high alignment at certain times or in given situations.

The information below will help you get started with the ten conversations. Then, over the next few weeks, we will post blog posts with more information about each conversation, including:

  • what the conversation generates,
  • what to expect when it is used,
  • what happens if the conversation is missing, and
  • possible ways to start each conversation

Conversations to Move Towards High Alignment

Leaders engaging people to work together for a common result require connecting different interests, commitments, and perspectives in a new way so that everyone has a relationship to each other and a shared result. Low alignment is a symptom of undeveloped relatedness.  Conversations that support moving towards high alignment:

1. Meaning   2. Relationship   3. Success   4.   Possibility

 Conversations to Move Towards High Action

Mobilizing action requires addressing issues of pace, capacity and competency, and peer accountability.  Conversations that support moving toward high action:

5.   Accountability   6. Commitment and Promises   7.   Action   8. Results

Conversation to Move Out of Low Action and Low Alignment

The cornerstone conversation to move out of a place of both low alignment and low action is one that allows you or those with whom you work to reflect on their own personal power – the power to act and the power to forge relationships.  Conversations that support the move out of low action and low alignment:

 9. Personal Power

Conversation to Sustain High Action and High Alignment

Once you are in a place of high action and high alignment there are conversations of reflection and learning that can sustain this high level of engagement until the program results are achieved.  Conversations that sustain high action and high alignment:

 10. Reflection

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