When a contentious or complex problem arises, it’s common to want to allay fears, downplay misinformation, side-step values differences, convince others that all will be well, or bring in a speaker or trainer. Too often, these approaches have mixed success because advocates for one point of view tend to have limited credibility with those who have conflicting concerns; or too much is happening behind closed doors, leading to concerns about trust; or the central issues are not fully addressed or important voices feel left out.
Strategic conversations, in which teams or entire workplace communities come together for joint reflection, real dialogue and effective debate, can be a more effective approach in such situations. The type of collaborative inquiry that is at the heart of a strategic conversation helps…
- Focus energy on long-term objectives.
- Capitalize on the power of dialogue to build shared understanding and experience.
- Foster relationships and commitments that are critical to long-term survival and success.
- Show initiative and real interest on the part of organizational leadership.
- Enhance legitimacy and long-term effect of decisions.
Questions about strategic conversations in the workplace? Let me know!