When employees in the workplace complain about a lack of communication, what they really mean is a lack of conversation with a capital C.
- Collaborative; requiring people to come together with an openness to joint mutual benefit.
- Controlled; focussed to achieve outcomes in the world.
- Continuous; we are almost always in some form of conversation, be that internal or external.
- Critical; to our survival. Everything we have learnt came through conversation and all that we do occurs through conversation.
- Connection; the shared conversation we have in the background of our life.
- Competency; it can be learnt.
- Caring; conversation should always be entered into in a spirit of care.
- Courageous; many of the conversations we have in life require courage to hold.
- Character; the conversations you have with others and the way you have them, including those you won’t have are a window into your character.
- Creation; much of the action we effect upon the world occurs as a result of our conversations (now or in the past).
- Commitment; promises to the future.
Conversations are language driven by our moods and emotions and are created through our body, occurring within relationships.
The skills of Conversation are:
- Listening; to what is being said and how you are reacting to it
- Suspending judgment; don’t assume you know what is being communicated until you’ve had a chance to hear it all and evaluate
- Identifying assumptions; recognise the assumptions you are making and query their validity
- Reflection; what have you learned
- Inquiry; ask questions to clarify understanding
- Emotional management; your emotions and mood will influence your listening
The purpose of Conversation will vary, and frequently combine many styles such as
- Conversation for Clarity
- Conversation for Coordination of action
- Conversation for Relationship
- Conversation for Possible future conversations
- Conversation for Stories and Assessments
- Conversation for Speculation