One of the key principles of Generative Dialogue is that of natural rhythm. This can be quite challenging to achieve as many of us are accustomed to using checklists and agendas in our meetings. With these checklists and agendas comes structure and within that structure, we tend to get attached to specific outcomes. If you are looking for Synchronicity or have interest in attaining Flow, you will need to let go of any connection you may have to any specific result. It is as simple and as difficult as that!
If you’re like many who grew up in American households, you probably heard this suggestion quite often from your parents: “Think before you speak.”
As children, our parents and caregivers do their best to teach us how to treat others kindly and with respect. Thinking before speaking was a lesson taught to us as children to remind us that if we pause for just a moment before we say what wants to “automatically” come out of our mouths, we can make a conscious choice about what we say and thereby how we interact with others.
“Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobblestones; looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.”
Every time I recall this song written by Paul Simon, I think about how fast-paced my life has become. In this busy and often fragmented world, it feels like everything moves at a speed and intensity unlike anything I’ve previously experienced. Today it’s easier than ever to send an email, hold a virtual meeting, and reach anyone at almost any time — day or night. The newest technology allows us to connect in a nanosecond. Compared to even a decade ago, things have changed drastically.
Build a Trust-Based Team
It’s Monday morning. You’re sitting in the weekly Management Team meeting engaged in a discussion around a myriad of topics on the agenda. You get to the subject of the budget. Two Division Presidents are requesting funds for their business unit; but there is only enough money to fund one. Each begins trying to convince the group as to why he deserves those resources over the other. The discussion goes back and forth. Convincing moves to debate. Debate becomes an argument. And eventually, the argument turns to conflict.
“The word LISTEN contains the same letters as the word SILENT” ∞ Alfred Brendel
Most of us think we know how to listen. We don’t, and growing up we are rarely if ever told to Examine How You Listen.
When another person is speaking, what happens? Unless you are hearing-impaired, hearing happens; it requires no effort. It is a biological act of perceiving sound by the ear.
Listening on the other hand doesn’t “simply happen”; it is something you consciously choose to do. It requires intention. It necessitates concentration. It demands attention.