Constructive Conversation – Guest Post by Scott Beilke

constructive conversationHow are your conversations?  The quality of your conversation is an indicator of your workplace culture and a window into your team performance and effectiveness.   The key behaviors of a leader manifest through conversation.  In fact, you could argue that leadership is a stream of conversation.  A constructive conversation is at the heart of leading well.  It centers on a common purpose, makes a difference and is guided by a leader. A constructive conversation creates, refines and shares knowledge.
A constructive conversation:

Is a Dialogue Is not a debate
Is about Listening Is not about preparing an answer
Is about Being Open Is not about making judgments
Is about Connecting Is not about controlling

Constructive conversations happen when people feel safe enough to raise normally untouchable issues, challenge one another’s viewpoints and collaborate to resolve issues.  As a leader, you’re the role model for the way conversations materialize.  Your ability to conduct constructive conversations is an indispensable leadership tool.

Scott Beilke is a change leadership consultant and director at Brighton Leadership Group

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One Response to Constructive Conversation – Guest Post by Scott Beilke

  1. bill morton says:

    I found your four classes interesting. However I think they need more explanation. What distinguishes a dialogue from a debate. A formal debate usually has one side presenting only the ideas that favour a particular viewpoint. Perhaps a dialogue presents ideas from two possibly opposing views?
    I believe a conflict exist between listening and thinking of answers. My site has a post on this very subject. However I accept that many people only listen for the other Speaker to stop talking so they put in their ideas. Thus they do not listen. I use the exercise where before you can reply you have to summarise what the other person said.
    Next I think that most people make judgements most of the time – if they actually listen. And they should – otherwise they may not learn anything.
    What do you mean by open? I guess open to considering the ideas of the other person.
    People should control – themselves so they give the other person the chance to reply to something or to allow them to finish their argument (in the neutral sense of the word.
    I hope these ideas contribute to you thinking and thank you for the link.

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