M1E4: Conversations to Maintain Relationships and Exchange Value

In this episode, Georgie and I focus on conversations any of us might have when we are maintaining a relationship or hoping to harness it in support of a specific objective. These types of chats often happen when you have news to share or realise that the other person might be able to help you reach a goal. We call these ‘maintenance’ conversations because they help to maintain the relationship between two people.

Georgie and I try out 3 different types of maintenance conversations in this episode

  • In the first conversation, I’ve reached out because I want to share news with her about a change in my life
  • In the second one, she has reached out to ask for an introduction to someone I happen to know
  • In the third conversation, one of us has reached out because we hadn’t spoken to the other person in many months
  • Just like before, after each example conversation, we point out the things that we think are helpful and some of the patterns we see emerge between these chats and previous ones in this series


  • First conversation example, sharing news [2:04]
  • First conversation analysis start [9:18]
  • Blending the personal and professional [9:54]
  • Opportunity for follow up questions when people share news [11:26]
  • Understanding how this change for one person relates to the other person [11:59]
  • Giving the floor to the person with news [12:36]
  • Second conversation example, asking for something [14:05]
  • Second conversation analysis start [19:34]
  • Taking creative risk in conversation [20:03]
  • Treating people as more than ‘the ask’ [20:33]
  • Thinking about how the request might be valuable to the other person or someone they know [21:35]
  • Holding your request loosely [21:55]
  • Creating fertile ground for future conversations and collaboration [22:33]
  • Don’t get stuck on the solution, share the problem, and let them challenge the brief [23:39]
  • Third conversation example, reconnecting after a while [24:07]
  • Third conversation analysis start [31:17]
  • Willingness to share things, be vulnerable, expose quirkiness [31:55]
  • Conversation as a dance [33:06]
  • How subtle changes to questions can have a big impact [33:42]
  • Conversation is not always about communicating information [34:19]
  • A difference between extroverts and introverts in conversation [35:00]
  • How we sensor ourselves in conversation [36:20]
  • Episode and mini-series key takeaways [37:02]