Time to push away from the dock!

The blogs of Thought Architects are not intended to be deliberately sequential. However, if you read the last one, I feel this may be an opportunity.


Recall the article from Janet Davidson that highlighted the gap that exists in practice. We know what to do, we just don’t know how to make it happen.


“Something always seems to interfere with our ability to effectively apply what we know to be true about how to improve and sustain better health. We seem to be stuck in the original paradigm of medicare.”


Adaptive leaders and organizations need to behave in ways that create collaborative work cultures. The world is not going to stop changing! We want to demystify the skills that people can use to help organizations evolve and succeed. Human Resources is not an office. It is the total amount of talent, passion and commitment of everyone in the organization. Tapping that is the key. This is the beginning of “How”.


And…in that spirit, and to contribute and add to Margie’s thinking from the last blog, imagine you are a participant in a professional conversation. Here are some hypothetical, dichotomous questions:


  • Is it possible that the leader, the facilitator and group members could have the shared intention that the purpose of this dialogue is to get several ideas “on the table” from the group?

  • Can you imagine that when someone speaks, the group norm (or rule at first), is to make sure the speaker is fully heard?

  • Would it be possible for someone to summarize what that person has said using different and fewer words? (By the way, I believe we paraphrase more than we realize and much less than we might).

  • Would it be possible that the next person to speak puts another idea “on the table” using language that invites the group to see it as another idea to add to the list? Using language such as, “here’s another idea” or “an alternate perspective might be…”.

  • Could you see a conversation where the search is not for agreement or even consensus first, but for the surfacing and understanding of multiple ideas?

What if every initial professional conversation was choreographed in this way? Watch what happens to the culture of the organization when people behave this way.


We listen to respond. What happens if we listen to understand first?


We respond to assert, to challenge, to counterbalance, or to convince. What happens if we listen to confirm our understanding of what was said?


We respond to control. What happens if we respond to contribute?


It takes courage.

It takes individual and then collective commitment.

It is very difficult to perfect.

It is very easy to start.


Time to push away from the dock!



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