29. July 2012 · Comments Off on Convening Conversations · Categories: Cultural Proficiency, Leadership · Tags: , , , , , , ,

How blessed we are to have friends and colleagues to share our thinking in safe, engaging conversations! Through conversations, we can change our lives, the lives of others, and the cultures wherein we live and work. We make sense of the chaos around us through our conversations with others. Each of our actions causes a disturbance, however small, a disturbance that impacts others in ways we can never imagine! Purposeful, positive, and meaningful conversations occur through dialogue, with intentional and skillful listening, speaking, and inquiry…all with the core purpose to mediate our thinking and truly understand the topic at hand, and to understand at the deepest levels of assumptions, beliefs, and values. That is the power of conversations: deep understanding of diverse and divergent perspectives, beliefs, and values. Powerful conversations lead to passionate engagement in cognitive conflict around ideas, assumptions, beliefs, and values, all within the safety of a trusting, benevolent, honest, and supportive community of lifelong learners. Then, we may change our world.

We never know what might be the impact of our simple actions and/or conversations. So many people move through each day without being acknowledged by others. Acknowledgement of their contributions, and a small conversation, can change their world…and yours. The tribes in South Africa greet each other with “Sawu bona,” which means “I see you”…I acknowledge your existence, your existence matters, and you make a difference in my life. Start a conversation that matters, a conversation that might just change your life and the lives of others. Even as the butterfly flaps its wings and causes a disturbance many many miles away, you may even change our world.

Further Reading: Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future, by Margaret Wheatley.