Better Conversations

  • General Registration
    July 7, 2017 - July 8, 2017
    7:30 am

All fees for this workshop will be donated to Family Promise.


What is the purpose of this institute?

Effective communication strategies are essential for professional success. Coaches, leaders, and educators who make an impact communicate their message clearly, build healthy emotional connections with others, and maneuver through emotionally complex situations in ways that allow them to speak the truth in way that will be heard.

Effective communication strategies are even more important in people’s personal lives. We live our lives in relationships, and much of the joy or unhappiness we experience is the direct result of our relationships with others. Effective communication strategies enable us to live happier, more fulfilling lives by enabling us to experience healthier personal relationships.

This institute based on Jim Knight’s book Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other To Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected (2016) offers an intensive two-day exploration of six Better Conversation Beliefs and ten Better Conversation Habits that can help anyone communicate more effectively at work or at home.

What content is included in this institute?

This institute will provide intensive professional learning in the six Better Conversation Beliefs and Ten Better Conversation Habits.

The Better Conversation Beliefs are:

  1. I see conversation partners as equals,
  2. I want to hear what others have to say,
  3. I believe people should have a lot of autonomy,
  4. I don’t judge others,
  5. conversation should be back and forth, and
  6. conversation should be life-giving.

The Better Conversation Habits are:

  1. Demonstrating Empathy,
  2. Listening with Empathy,
  3. Fostering Dialogue,
  4. Asking Better Questions,
  5. Making Emotional Connections,
  6. Being a Witness to the Good,
  7. Finding Common Ground,
  8. Controlling Toxic Emotions,
  9. Redirecting Toxic Conversations, and
  10. Building Trust.

How will this institute work?

Better Conversations is designed to provide participants with an intensive learning experience leading to mastery of each of the Better Conversation Habits. To accomplish this, all participants will learn each of the easy and powerful communication habits, practice each strategy during experiential learning activities, and then self-coach themselves following each experiential learning activity.

Participants will also learn how to self-coach themselves after they leave the workshop and return to their homes and workplaces.

Participants will:

  • Identify their own beliefs about communication by exploring the six Better Conversation Beliefs.
  • Learn the ten Better Conversation Habits.
  • Practice using the Better Conversation Habits in experiential learning activites.
  • Self-coach themselves on their use of the Better Conversation habits.
  • Leave the session with (a) new habits that should have an immediate, positive impact on their ability to communicate at work and at home, and (b) a self-coaching strategy they can use to continue improving their communication skills long after they leave the institute.

Who should attend this institute?

Better Conversations is appropriate for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills. While the habits and beliefs will frequently be discussed within the context of coaching, anyone interested in improving how they communicate, or guiding their school or district to embrace better conversations, should benefit from this institute.

Cost of the institute 
$499 for two days (does not include costs associated with meals, transportation, and lodging)

Materials Provided

Materials Provide 
All participants will receive a copy of Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other To Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected (2016) and The Reflection Guide to Better Conversations (2016).


Jim Knight

About Instructional Coaching Group

The Instructional Coaching Group (ICG) was formed in 2007 by Jim Knight to provide professional learning on instructional coaching for educational organizations, both on-site and through Institutes and Conferences offered at their home base in Lawrence, Kansas. Jim Knight and his associates, who are professional learning consultants, facilitate professional development sessions, consult on topics related to leading instructional change, and provide coaching for instructional coaches.

More Information

Ruth Ryschon
308-219-0218 or 308-496-4724


Plan to fly to Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Transportation from the Kansas City International Airport to Lawrence is much easier than from other airports in the area. MCI is located northeast of Lawrence and is about a one-hour drive from Lawrence. You may want to rent a car or use the transportation services described below.

SDM Transportation
Reservations: 785-979-2428; or

Midwest Transportation Service
Shuttle from and to airport:
Toll free: 888-467-3729
Online reservations:
Make reservations 12-24 hours ahead of time. $25 one way; $50 round trip.

Rates within Lawrence are $10 for a ride anywhere within city limits. Each additional passenger rides for an additional $2. It is $2.50 per additional stop and there is a charge of 50 cents per minute after three minutes of waiting.


The Oread Hotel (Group rates available. This is where the institute is being held.)
1200 Oread Avenue

Eldridge Hotel (Group rates available.)
Historic hotel in downtown Lawrence
701 Massachusetts St.

Hampton Inn
2300 W. 6th St.

Marriott Spring Hill Suites
A hotel on the riverfront in downtown Lawrence
1 Riverfront Plaza (6th and New Hampshire)

Marriott Towne Place Suites
900 New Hampshire St

For additional hotel listings, please email Ruth Ryschon at

A more complete listing of information regarding transportation options and hotels will be sent at the time of registration.



1501 Massachusetts, Lawrence, Kansas, 66044, United States