talking partners

Talking Partners: The first circle of safety

Posted on
September 22, 2016


Talking Partners (TPs) is a co-mentoring program designed to help employees increase their awareness and improve judgment. Your talking partner acts as a second screen when making important decisions. Talking Partners started with Charlie Kim and Meghan Messenger, to the point where they are now Co-CEOs. The TP program is the most widely adopted culture program at Next Jump, and typically the first one that other organizations try to implement first.


Why we do it

We have found that especially in leadership roles, great decision making is of vital importance.  The Talking Partner program is at it’s heart a “decision-making system” and Emotional Training Ground.  Two individuals get to know each others’ strengths and impediments, and can talk out frustrations and decisions in order to improve the decision-making process. Your TP helps you develop your self-awareness, and first practice ground for vulnerability, and giving and receiving feedback. Talking Partners started with our Co-CEOs, Charlie Kim and Meghan Messenger.

Talking Partners


How it works

Each TP meeting is organized around a framework: meet, vent, work

Meet: signals the need for the consistency of meeting every morning, getting into a daily ritual of the practice.

Venting: involves “getting the toxins out” – anything from your home life or work life is fair game for discussion.  TP is a place that honors your frustrations and anxiety as part of who you are.  It also gives you a structure for reducing the hold of negative thinking on your attention

Work: TPs are expected to push each other for greatness, set high expectations, and help each other talk out both small and large decisions.


Lessons learned

It’s important to share what’s worked/hasn’t worked as we’ve implemented talking partners across the company.

Talking Partners Lessons Learned

Download the 1-page guide

Program Guide_Talking Partners

Learn more

The Power of Not Feeling Alone at Work: Talking Partners, by Greg Kunkel

Talking Partners: A new kind of buddy scheme, The Happy Manifesto