The Conversation Canvas

The Conversation Canvas is your go-to framework for enabling positive and authentic wellbeing conversations between colleagues, placing wellbeing at the centre of company culture.

Putting compassion and wellbeing at the centre of your company culture

We believe that everyone has the right to be healthy and happy at work, connected to a community of people who want to make a positive impact on themselves and the workplace.

Our Canvas enables you to foster a caring, compassionate, supportive, and inclusive discussion around a colleague’s wellbeing which is led by them and their individual needs.

Introduction

We’ve run several workshops in the past with Tailored Thinking about positive psychology, sharing practical examples of job crafting and the Five Ways to Wellbeing. One such example was about a poor experience during the one-to-one process.

We’ve all had rubbish appraisals and one-to-ones in our time, which likely left you feeling more unsettled and unappreciated than when you first went in. On this occasion, the session focussed 55 minutes on performance, most notably targets, with little regard to happiness or wellbeing. Only when the meeting had a few minutes spare at the end was this raised.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though.

Overview, general purpose, and models

Wellbeing conversations are intended to be regular and supportive, where cultures of feeling valued, heard, and respected can thrive. Through care and compassion, and by considering the whole wellbeing of our colleagues, we can identify areas that we can work on together, build communities, and highlight areas for support.

The Conversation Canvas uses two key models: The Five Ways to Wellbeing and Me, We, and Us.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing, first developed by the New Economics Foundation in 2008, is an evidence-based framework designed to cover a person’s whole wellbeing. We use the Five Ways to Wellbeing to set out the Conversation Canvas, as well as for our wider services.

Me, We, and Us is threaded throughout the Conversation Canvas, but most notably in section three. This framework considers, identifies, and agrees expectations for the individual, the team, and the organisation.

The Conversation Canvas is for everyone, whether it’s a chat between colleagues, line managers, or customers. Authentic and compassionate wellbeing conversations need to take place from a position of trust, so whoever that is to you, is who you should talk to.

Using the Conversation Canvas

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Section one – details

The first section of the Conversation Canvas is straightforward. Using the top bar, make a note of the discussion attendees and the date that it is taking place. We suggest leaving the “Next Conversation” section until the discussion comes to a close because it’s likely that this will be dictated by the agreed wellbeing goals.

Section two – main discussion

You’ll likely spend most of the conversation focussed on section two where you can really explore what wellbeing means to you and how we can support each other.

Using the Five Ways to Wellbeing framework we have split section two into five elements. However, the Canvas is intentionally designed so there’s no need to go through it element-by-element, stick to the base questions, or even cover all bases.

The Conversation Canvas is here to guide, not dictate. For example, if a colleague doesn’t feel able to take time away from the workplace, then delve a little deeper there and explore ways that you could enable them to do so.

When looking at the supporting questions in each element you’ll see that the Me, We, and Us framework has been cleverly hidden throughout. If we look at the Connect element for a second, we can see:

  • How do you feel you positively connect with your colleagues? (Me)
  • How well do you think the team is connected? (We)
  • How can we as a team build on our connectedness? (Us).

By using the Conversation Canvas, we can get some real boots-on-the ground insights into our colleagues, teams, and organisational culture from which we can make massive differences to the employee experience.

Section three – outcomes

When we’re ready to explore and set some goals together, we can move on to section three. You can move back into section two whenever you wish though.

First, what does wellbeing mean to you? Would you like to add physical activity into your day? Develop connections with colleagues outside of your team? Give your time and expertise to a charity? Once we know what wellbeing means to us, we can jot down a couple of goals that we’d like to explore.

Now that we have our three goals, which one shall we work on first?

The Me, We, and Us framework is very prominent here because we believe that for anyone to achieve a personal or professional goal, they need to have support. There needs to be agreed accountabilities for all stakeholders and this is true whether it’s for wellbeing purposes or not, which shows the breadth of opportunities to use the Conversation Canvas in the workplace.

Let’s pretend we’re an NHS nurse who works set shifts on a busy accident and emergency ward, and our goal to experiment with is to take just 30 minutes out from our shift to go for a walk outside. What do we all need to do to achieve this goal?

  • Me – We need to bring our trainers in and head out for a walk at lunch time
  • We – Our line manager needs to give us the opportunity to go out for our walk, and ensure that there’s sufficient capacity to cover my patients in my short absence
  • Us – There needs to be a culture of acceptance that taking a lunch break is a good thing, and that we’re not expected to soldier on without.

We know have an actionable goal that we can all work to achieve together. If, say in three months, we haven’t achieved this goal, then we can explore why. This isn’t about playing the blame game but more about learning together for a mutual aim.

Getting hands on your own Conversation Canvas

We want the Conversation Canvas to add value to your people straight away, so you can get our Juice-branded version right now for free. All you have to do is pop us an email.

However, if you’re an organisation that likes to put your own stamp on these things, we have the proposition just for you.

Through our wellbeing conversation workshops, utilising the Conversation Canvas as the key framework, you’ll get your own co-branded electronic version as part of your setup. In addition, you’ll also be able to purchase our A3 Conversation Canvas booklets at a heavily reduced investment so it’s even easier for you to scale across your organisation.

We all know that the best learning comes through learning and application, and that these skills won't be perfected overnight. That’s why all participants who attend one of our workshops will be added to our alumni network. Through this network your people will be able to learn, share, and network with other people and organisations who are also putting wellbeing at the centre of their cultures.

We’re all in good company, together.