As the author of the article below aptly put it:
The heart of dialogue is listening.
We all know that listening is immensely harder to do well than it seems. Have you noticed that true dialogue is also in scarcity these days?
Most people think they are engaging in dialogue, but it’s actually a monologue – transactionally presenting information or decisions, as opposed to the co-thinking, co-creating that defines authentic dialogue.
So if listening is the essence of dialogue and there’s a growing lack of both, perhaps the remedy is in us learning more about what each of these art forms entail. After all, one cannot be done well without the other.
A good deal of personal change comes from sheer awareness of where you are now and where you desire to be. What feedback have you received about your communication style? Have you intentionally asked?
Since two of our highest human desires are to be heard and to be valued, if you resolve to practice practice practice until you become a master of co-thinking dialogue, it will be THE leveling-up key to all you do.
From strategy to crisis to followership to deliverables, all things are impacted by whether or not people enjoy the experience of communicating with you.
When we talk with the intention to draw others into the conversation to learn from them too, it projects an attitude of sincerity and a learners mindset. Is it the fastest way to get to your point? That’s the point in itself.
Go too fast and you risk the peril of proceeding from an echo chamber, having less and less information to derive grounded insights and informed decisions.
Impatient communication leads to the monologue habit which leads to you ultimately just talking to yourself, even in a room of intelligent people.
The he(art) of dialogue is listening, because keen listeners draw out the best kind of input through intentional questions. They hear small clues that spark invigorating discussion.
They are maestros of the symphony of collective intelligence.
Comb through the selected articles below with an eye toward assessing where you are now in this skill set, and which of these tools and techniques can make you a talker that makes everyone feel heard.
“Leaders need to actively encourage collective intelligence.
When we learn to actually hear what is being said around us, collective intelligence is attainable, and this is truly powerful. Gathering others’ perspectives in the pursuit of landing on a new perspective is groundbreaking for you as a person and as a leader.
To achieve collective intelligence, leaders must change a few behaviors to create environments where real dialogue can occur.”
“Smart people want to be a part of the conversations and not talked at.
It’s not about telling someone what they need to do, but describing, explaining, and evaluating the situation, together. In doing so, ideas, concerns, and/or questions may arise that were not otherwise considered.
People may think that they are engaging in a dialog when they are really engaging in individual sessions of monologue.”
“You may have excellent technical skills. You may even be innovative and visionary. But if you don’t know how to engage people, you’re toast.
The best leaders (regardless of title or lack there of) have good people skills. They talk well. They listen well. They offer feedback in ways that inspire improvement rather than resistance. They welcome feedback, and accept it without excuses.”