Greenline – a different approach to conversations

Yesterday I went to a Workshop promoted by my current employer with the subject of Greenline. This workshop was intended to introduce Greenline as a new way to manage conversations and increase one’s communication and interpersonal skills.

According to the promoters of this Workshop, Greenline is “a scientifically-based methodology to host conversations more skilfully – even when there is tension – that results in clearer, better outcomes with commitment from all sides.”

The overall idea is to reduce conflict to a bare minimum, increasing team satisfaction, saving energy, time and, of course, money (from a business perspective). There was a good question put forward in the Workshop. The question was: “How much time do you spend, weekly, managing conflicts? When I think of that, I tend to answer “something between 10 and 20%”, being just reading an annoying email and ignoring it or actually trying to sort out a less pleasant moment or something some co-worker told me that I didn’t enjoy listening.

The Greenline approach is to be clear of our destination, where we want to go, what we want to achieve (the “THERE”) while being clearly conscious of the starting point (the “HERE”). Obviously, the goal is to start from HERE and reach THERE using the shortest path, by trying to have the least deviations possible. This is accomplished with the introduction of many small interventions during the way to ensure that we are on track and also that we get back on track if we are deviated in some way. The result of not doing this might be realizing one’s off-track too late and spend too much time getting back on track and doing damage control.

Greenline proposes a list of 7 red cards and 7 green cards that represent what not to do (Red) and what to do (Green) to improve your personal interactions:


  • Failing to clarify the “THERE” upfront;
  • Talking too much (vs Listening);
  • Asking leading questions
  • Failure to acknowledge others concerns
  • Making assumptions
  • Giving your solution
  • Avoiding Honest feedback.


  • Agree to “THERE” – Clarify
  • Agree to “HERE” – Clarify
  • Agree to next steps – Clarify
  • Enquire – Commitment
  • Hear – Commitment
  • Reflect – Commitment
  • Straight Talk – Commitment

These were the key points and after the Workshop I really felt that this training can help me improve my Interpersonal Skills. Time to put them to practice!