We use what we call Creative Conversation Circles to bring clarity and agreement during some of the most pressured times; to harness corporate energy, not dissipate it in dispute.
Creative Conversation Circles
When executives and Boards meet – especially when managing change – a great concentration of power is harnessed. But how often are we frustrated by the end?
Great companies don’t shy away from vigorous dialogue when deciding strategic direction, action planning, goals and objectives, trying to plot their way through change.
But getting the best out of each participant is difficult, especially when vested interests are involved.
This is when an independent Facilitator, skilled in the art of dialogue, can make all the difference.
- The voice of every team member is heard and valued
- The method enhances a company’s core values around togetherness and teams
- Agreement is achieved when division damages the vision and company Culture
- Lingering resentments are dealt with
- Strong teams are built while working on – not just in – the business.
HOW CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS WORK
Participants are briefed on the golden rules of dialogue:
- Listening: To listen all the way through – especially when you disagree
- Respecting: To respect the integrity of every participant and see the variety of perspectives as adding to the whole
- Suspending: Being willing to loosen your own grip on certainty and to step into the unknown
- Voicing: Speaking from the centre of your Being for the good of the whole.
The Circle is moderated by the Facilitator – and it keeps ‘turning’ until a resolution is reached. The Facilitator frames the opening question and passes ‘the baton’ on. Each participant is asked to find something in the previous contribution to agree with or comment positively on -this keeps the atmosphere positive – before ‘turning the Circle in a new direction. The ‘baton’ can be passed by subsequent speakers in any direction. With participants listening all the way through, suspending the cacophony of inner opinion and allowing mental and emotional space to emerge in which something new can be spoken.
What is dialogue?
William Isaacs, the author of Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together, defines it as “ a conversation with a centre, not sides”. It is a way of taking the energy of our differences and channelling it towards something that has never been created before. It lifts us out of polarisation and into a greater common sense. The most important parts of any conversation are “ those which neither party could have imagined before starting”.
Dialogue is creative.
“ If we try to listen we find it extraordinarily difficult because we are always projecting our opinions and ideas, our prejudices, our background, our inclinations, our impulses; when they dominate, we hardly listen at all to what is being said. In that state, there is no value at all. One listens, and therefore learns, only in a state of attention. Then it is possible to communicate.”
Krishnamurti – Philosopher.