Power of Conversation

My work team has had a number of issues come up and we all are working hard to address what is happening. What I am amazed about is that when we all get together and talk – stuff happens. Simply put the power of conversation.

Here are a few of the experiences with conversations:

  • I continue to be amazed how a many wonderful ideas that we come up with during informal conversations. The other day – a few of us – sat down and were talking about some of the issues that our group is facing. We were sitting and drawing on a napkin some of our thoughts – we were able to really get to a very solid solution. Many of these informal conversations have provided very rich sources of creativity, learning and innovation – especially for me.
  • Conversations give me energy, for some on my team it generates energy, often I find just the conversation to be the catalyst for action.
  • Conversations help me think, shape new concepts and ideas.

All this has me wondering, “how I can get more.”

  • How can we nourish conversations (in work, personal lives and in communities)?
  • When these moments come – when the conversation leads to creativity and innovation – we need to be taking them seriously. How many times do we think back and go – I remember that, somewhere? Lost opportunities.
  • As managers and leaders – should we not become more deliberate in managing and nurturing those conversations?
  • What about folks in different timezones and geo’s – how do we attempt to capture those conversations and share?
  • Are we losing the art of conversation?

My team is spread across the globe. Email does not cut it, much is lost… When I go off on the white board – and start drawing that wonderful masterpiece that solved everything – well, there is no way to share that wisdom with the complete team. Same is happening with the small pockets of my team in the other locations. We have to have ways to foster conversations, share out that output (when it makes sense) and truly make location and time meaningless.

Maybe I was just  thinking about this more recently because I think I have spent more time in meetings and conversations within work and my personal life. Some of that – hum – ‘what if’ moments.

  • Maria Frick

    Bingo – I whole-heartedly agree – this is about the outcome being greater than the sum of the parts (I can’t remember exactly how that phrase goes). And, guess what, I schedule many meetings simply to have conversations. Sometimes even just to have other people have conversations. They may have a topic, but not necessarily a defined agenda down to the T. This has a lot to do with the fact that pretty much everyone I work with is at a different site, so those watercooler moments just don’t happen. For someone like me, who enjoys communication very much (as a trained translator/interpreter, go figure), this is critical to my survival and well-being at work. And while I agree that a real conversation cannot always be planned and made to happen just because it’s on the calendar, it’s still better than nothing.