Friday, November 8, 2019

How do we build conversational capacity?

When I was younger, I used to think "conflict" was a negative thing. Why can't we just get along here? Why do we have to fight here?

Oh, man, I had major misconceptions on what conflict even was, and looking back, it held me back. Conflict is critical to organizations, and even for families, to grow, but in order to embrace healthy conflict, one must be skilled with how to handle it.

Conversational Capacity by Craig Weber is an excellent book that offers skills and ideas on how to value and embrace conflict while building team and growing.

It's not as if anyone can read Conversational Capacity (2013) and be a maestro with business conversations, building teams and addressing conflict. However, Weber does offer a lot of food for thought and skill building. For me, it changed my mindset with how to approach work conversations. I am more intentional and will help guide conversations to where I perceive it is meant to be. Of course, my perceptions sometimes can be off, but heck, at least I am trying.
One of my favorite chapters in Conversational Capacity is titled "Intentional Conflict: Why Good Intentions are Never Enough." It's about how many participants in conversations either minimize issues or "try to win" conversations, and so that keeps the conversation out of its sweet spot where things can progress. Minimizing and trying to win are progress killers. If we continue with that, organizations and ourselves remain static.

Why do so many people hate meetings? Why did I used to hate them?

Well, many participants in meetings do not have any training on how to run them or how to contribute. Maybe we think it's common sense, but it really isn't. I believe it is reasonable to focus on "how to run and contribute to successful meetings" for 5 percent of an organization's meeting time. Usually, it's zero percent. (By the way, I also recommend Patrick Lencioni's book Death by Meeting, but I already have a Lencioni book on this list. So I did not officially recommend it in this project.)

Anyway, back to Conversational Capacity, I highly recommend it because I believe conversational skills must continually be worked on, especially in professional settings. The first step with improvement typically is an honest and real conversation.

No comments:

Post a Comment