Renowned systems thinker and organisational expert Margaret Wheatley suggested that in many cases it is not the structure of the organisations that need to change but the conversations we have within them. Human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change – personal, community and organizational change. The behaviors associated with the practices of dialogue are powerful in developing the capacity for deep, authentic conversation in organizations.
Open, frequent and constructive communication is one of the keys to sustainable success in the long term. Yet most organizational communication is broken. It tends to be more one-way than interactive; more talking and less listening; more advocacy and less inquiry; little room for integrating opposing points of view.
The “Conversationalist” program is a half- day of skilfully hosted mindful dialogue designed to transform and improve how we engage with colleagues, clients and stakeholders. At the heart of this approach to communication are five dimensions: cultivating an open heart, skills in self-reflection, being present, establishing respectful boundaries and developing emotional intelligence.
Each of these dimensions incorporate practices and principles that support businesses to develop open engaged learning environments, to think creatively and critically, manage emotions, communicate effectively, and work with people who are different from themselves. This program develops a culture of participatory leadership through an awareness of our own cognitive and emotive processes. It does this by,
- valuing and accessing the experience and intelligence already held within groups
- working to create the conditions that allow conversation-driven processes to lead groups into deeper insights and meaningful results
- providing a framework to understand the impact of our own worldviews
- prioritizing trust, vulnerability, emotional awareness and reflective insight,
- promoting collective intelligence, in pursuit of creative solutions to shared challenges.
During the session we work with story and group dialogue providing insights into how individual and organisational worldviews are formed and how assumptions, beliefs, and cultural influences determine ways of thinking. We will,
- look at ourselves and our leadership and reflect upon ways in which we are embedded in a way of seeing the world through particular knowledge and learning systems,
- explore varying perspectives, or ways of seeing the world, and the relationship between those worldviews.
- tap into the rich experience of people outside of their job description
Workshop participants will leave the day with practical insights into the design and organization of mindful encounters with groups in any environment that facilitate clear thinking, responsible action, group coherence and collective commitment. Participants will leave recognizing that relationships are key to all effective group action.
This workshop will be of practical value to any organisation looking to get the very best out of a group of people and co-create new ways of experiencing the world.
For more information on the value of facilitated Dialogue for any organisation please read our article
Organisational Transformation through Dialogue
Facilitator: Philip Jackson