The fine art of collaborative conversation

By William Seidman So much of our working time is devoted to meetings, conference calls and email exchanges that we probably overlook the fundamental skill needed to do these things well: the fine art of conversation. Have you ever had one of those days when it seemed like no one was really getting what you were trying to say? The challenges of communicating effectively are compounded even further when you’re working with hundreds of people in a large, global organization. Much of the art of conversation is knowing how to listen well. The collaborative conversation model recognizes the need to listen to all voices so that a common vision can be reached. It starts by reducing the separate “silos” of expertise that exist within an organization. Creating an open environment where colleagues can share information is absolutely vital for this expertise to be surfaced and shared. How is this done? By creating an atmosphere of trust, by encouraging every stakeholder to take ownership, by using diverse perspectives and dissenting opinions to foster new possibilities, and by focusing on what we can accomplish when we have a common vision. When collaborative conversation takes place, faster, smarter and more creative decisions can be made that enable an organization to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. It results in increased productivity, less waste, and greater innovation and creativity. Are you ready to listen well?  ]]>

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