Conversation in business is frequently seen as soft and wooly. Is it?
I’m afraid the senior managers in my organisation have got no interest in conversation. They see it as far too soft.
How many times have I heard that comment or something similar? Far too often, I am sorry to say.
I have a different perspective. Paradoxically, I think conversation isn’t soft; I believe that it’s extremely hard.
It is hard in two ways:
First, it’s hard to convince people of the power of conversation. Such difficulty is not too surprising as few of us have experienced the types of compelling conversations that make a difference in our organizations.
How many times do you hear that an issue needs to be debated, but you rarely hear that we need to have some a dialogue?
We need both – dialogue and debate. Each has its place.
Second, conversation is hard in that it creates some solid outcomes.
Making a decision may seem like a hard result. And of course, it is. But what if that decision is flawed. It’s a hard outcome but a bad one.
Now imagine a conversation that helps a group of people make sense of a complex situation and thus put them in a better position to make an improved decision.
Is this outcome – “improved understanding”- soft or is it hard?
It’s hard of course!
It may be difficult to convince people of the power of conversation, but the outcomes are well worth it. Conversation is anything but soft and wooly. We need hard conversation.
|This page is part of an online book on Conversational Leadership that I am in the process of writing.
Parts of the book have restricted access.
You can learn more about the book and how to obtain access on the home page.
|If you like what you have seen of this blook and would like to support me by donating $1 (or more) a month then click the "Become a Patron" button for more information.|