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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: May 2017

By Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder

Developing interactively effective managers is the key to delivering success

Recently, I have been reviewing all of the successful organisational development interventions I have been involved with. The outcome of this was that I realised that I had developed interactively effective managers at all levels in these endeavours. Perhaps, it is not surprising as Prof. Sandy Pentland (MIT) has stated that interactive effectiveness is more important to a great team than the skills and intelligence of the team members and all of the other factors combined that go to make a great team. The following is the interactive effectiveness tool that I use in coaching and developing interactively effective managers:


  • Objectives and why important

  • Giving information

  • Making content suggestions

  • Making process suggestions

  • Summarising

  • Disclosing

    • Information known only to you

    • Something about self

  • Summarising outcomes and follow-up


  • Seeking information

  • Seeking suggestions

  • Checking understanding

  • Developing suggestions

  • Acknowledging:

    • Content

    • Feelings

  • Bring-in

It is based on research carried out by Terry Morgan and Neil Rackham to identify the interactive behaviours used by people in work conversations. An individual who is interactively effective is skilled in using all of the interactive behaviours in the tool as appropriate in a work conversation. Moreover, Morgan and Rackham found that in a work conversation where more than 10% of all of the interactive behaviours used are ‘summarising’ and ‘checking understanding’ the work colleagues involved go away with a better understanding of the issues and what has been agreed and there is better follow through.

In working with organisations I sit in meetings and analyse the number of times each of the tool’s interactive behaviours are used and I record critical incidents, e.g. the failure to ‘check understanding’ or ‘acknowledge’ a contribution. When I do the first interactive effectiveness coaching for a team there is a always a deficit of ‘seeking’ behaviours, ‘checking understanding’ and ‘summarising’. After 3 rounds of interactive effectiveness coaching of a team they become significantly more interactively effective. The helps them be effective in inclusive leadership, i.e. actively listening to their team members, empowering them and helping them identify their talents and develop them. With many clients I have trained internal interactive effectiveness coaches to develop the managers and this has proved highly successful.

Please contact me if you would like to know more about interactive effectiveness and how to practise it and its contribution to: high performance; great customer service; delivering change; high levels of employee engagement; enhancing gender and race equality.

Dr Ian Dodds FRSA, 



27 Apr 2017

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