20 Feb

What are Guided Conversations

Guided Conversations

A guided conversation is a structured form of dialogue where one participant, often referred to as the facilitator or guide, steers the conversation in a specific direction to achieve predetermined objectives or outcomes. This approach is used across various settings, including interviews, meetings, therapy sessions, educational discussions, and stakeholder engagements. The key characteristics and objectives of a guided conversation include:


The conversation is aimed at exploring specific topics, gathering information, solving problems, or achieving particular goals. The guide has a clear understanding of these objectives and actively works to keep the discussion aligned with them.


While the conversation may allow for some flexibility, it typically follows a predefined structure or agenda. This structure might include a list of topics, questions, or themes to be covered, ensuring that all relevant points are addressed.

Participant Engagement:

Guided conversations are designed to encourage participation from all involved parties. The guide facilitates an environment where participants feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, experiences, and insights.

What skills does a facilitator need?

Active Listening:

A key skill for the facilitator in a guided conversation is active listening. This involves paying close attention to what is being said, asking clarifying questions, and reflecting back to ensure understanding. Active listening helps to build rapport and trust between participants.


While the conversation has a structure, the facilitator must also be adaptable, ready to explore unexpected topics or delve deeper into certain areas as the discussion unfolds. This flexibility allows the conversation to be more responsive to the participants’ interests and needs.


The ultimate goal of a guided conversation is to reach some form of conclusion, whether it’s gaining insights, making decisions, or identifying action steps. The guide helps to summarize key points, draw conclusions, and outline next steps by the end of the conversation.

Guided conversations are particularly effective in settings where a specific outcome is desired from the dialogue. They require a skilled facilitator who can manage the conversation’s flow, ensure all relevant topics are covered, and maintain engagement from all participants, all while steering the discussion towards its intended objectives.

If you’d like to talk to us about guided conversations, get in touch with our Leeds office.