What is a dialogue experiment? Good change was noted for good conversations. How do you make good conversations happen? Was the origin of it. Started bringing groups together to discuss a topic and then analyse the conversation itself – what did we learn about conversation through this conversation.
Hallmarks of a good conversation Energy – when something new is emerging out of it. When we are thrown together with different people and we get insights we can’t get alone
Where do you see the role of conversations in change (informal v formal) We see repetition in the questions that keep coming up when we do things like roadshows. We need to look at the intention within the conversation.
What is the mix of instrumental and constructive intent in conversations Conversations feel flat and hollow when they think they know the outcome of the conversation. When you see the spark in people’s eyes and we are off balance – there’s been an genuine unanswerable question, and this is what generates change.
How do you keep conversations open and flowing? Dialogue events are usually strategic events with leadership teams, being offsite and in the wilderness. If the events are too cerebral it can go very flat. Use structures that mix it up and invite activity (like walks in pair to reflect on the themes).
How do we deal with silence in conversations? Silence can be unnerving – but when we use silence in the walks it’s not seen as silence, it’s a pilgrimage. Things happen in the action of reflection (eg doodling, walking). Incorporate the silence in the conversation. People need silence to reflect and absorb in change – we need to incorporate space in the change programs for people to absorb the change.
Introverts and extroverts in dialogue experiments – any differences Yes, the groups that are very introverted need a lot of time prior to the experiments to think about the topic. Even on the day, we need to put air into the program so they can
What makes somebody a good conversationalist? That was the first hypothesis in our experiment – you need a good listener, challenger, provocateru, or the specialist who can get to the questions - people who are really curious and meaning makers. But after looking at those profiles, we’ve moved away to universal skills.
The qualities of a conversationalist
- Being a good talker
- Challenger – shakes up a conversation in a good way
- Investigating and being curious
- Empathy and understand other people
- Making meaning
- Giving visibility to the harvesting of ideas
Stimulating Conversations – What’s the scoop? A book that is being designed to create a space for conversation, instil more desire for intent of conversations, identify good questions for conversation, invitations for conversation, how you stay open to conversation.
A lot of online tools for design – eg divergent and convergent conversations, the GROW models, the Six Sigma processes.