Have you played ping-pong while growing up?
I did, a lot. We used to run competitions amongst the neighbours. It was awesome!
Now, I want you to consider this with me: A dialogue is like ping-pong. 🏓🏓
It is a back and forth, there is a rhythm, there is intensity, there is a flow. For it to happen, it requires participation from both sides.
Dialogue - from the Greek words "dia" and "logos" . Dia means 'through'; logos translate to 'word' or 'meaning'. In essence, a dialogue is a "flow of meaning".
Not all dialogues are smooth. Sometimes its flow is broken and it becomes a monologue (from Greek monos "alone" and legein "to speak", "speaking alone")
#Leadership requires dialogue. A good (effective) leader needs to be able to build the space where dialogue can flow.
Leadership where monologue prevails is dictatorship.
Building dialogues is an art, therefore, a skill that can (and ought to) be learned.
When facing difficult conversations, creating the space for a dialogue is a must.
We all face difficult conversations almost on a daily basis, at work, at home, on the road, with people we know, with people we don't know…
You might want to avoid a conflict altogether, and definitely some (not all) conflicts can/should/must be avoided, but not all of them.
However, some conflicts, when avoided, escalate. Therefore, by all means, we, professionals, need to acquire the knowledge and strategies to face difficult conversations.
How do we do it, you might ask?
➡️ Before diving into any discussion or difficult conversation, pause and reflect on your desired outcome. Ask yourself, "what do I hope to achieve in this conversation?" Focus on finding a resolution rather than assigning blame.
➡️ Listen. Listening is an art, and it's key to successful dialogue. Allow each of them to express their thoughts and feelings without interruptions.
➡️ Ask thoughtful questions. That can help uncover deeper insights and facilitate a more meaningful conversation. Remember, your goal is to find a solution together. You are building a dialogue.
➡️ Put yourself in other people's shoes and try to understand the pressures they may be experiencing. Empathy is a powerful tool to bridge gaps and build connections..
➡️ Frame your message effectively. When expressing your concerns, be clear, concise, and non-confrontational. Use "I" statements to communicate your observations and feelings, avoiding accusatory language. For example, instead of saying, "You always miss deadlines, and it's affecting the team," say, "I've noticed that deadlines have been missed recently, and I'm concerned about its impact on the team's progress."
➡️ Manage your own emotions. Emotions can easily escalate a difficult conversation into a heated argument. Take deep breaths if you feel overwhelmed, and remind yourself of your intention to find a resolution together.
Difficult conversations can be transformed into opportunities for growth and understanding. Every conversation is a chance to strengthen connections and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Let's promote dialogues that lead to more meaningful and successful interactions.
The world definitely needs it right now.