Can a conversation be based on a lie?

In my work I have always focused on building integrity into myself, my relationships, and my communities. I have often gotten into a discussion, note this is not a conversation, about whether you can be in integrity if you are unethical. My position has always been that you can not be integrity based if the actions are unethical. Even if your behavior is inline with your values. This simply does not fit for me. An ethical life is an integrity based life. And so it goes with conversations I believe.

A conversation is an intimate experience, a dance between two or more people generating new knowledge, learning, and understanding. And how can one enjoy that experience if it is based on a lie? I do not believe that is possible. What evolves may be something, but it is not a conversation in my opinion. New knowledge, learning, and understanding seems to be absent from a non-integrity based interaction.

So to have a conversation, one must open up, self disclose, be vulnerable, be honest, and be open to learn and grow. It reminds me of the old adage that you can not love if you do not risk. I believe the same goes for conversation.

Go forth and risk. Join conversations and make a difference.

John

Creating a sustainable conversation

Conversations do have a life time. The life of the conversation generally is influenced by the question that is on the table. The more compelling the question, the longer the life of the conversation. Some conversations seem to last for years because they generate enough passion to keep going. Others can last only minutes. This is always of interest to me as some of the questions that I pose have short life times and I am absolutely certain when I pose them that they will generate an in depth conversation. Other times, a simply question will generate an unexpected conversation.

There is an art to learning how to pose questions that matter. I suspect that with practice and experience one can get better at asking questions that matter. I recently asked a question on a board for an e-learning course that I took. The board was almost void of conversation and I wanted to generate an online community so I posed the question, “What does it take to generate a conversation in an online setting?” and surprisingly this question did generate quite a conversation.

I have been actively participating in online communities for quite a while but still am frustrated with the lack of conversation within those communities. Some are of course better than others. Finding a community where you can share, learn, grow, and make a difference is no easy task and if one finds a community such as this, you are blessed.

I wish you well in your conversations.

Coaching and Conversation

There is much being written about coaching as a management framework. There are steps and models, and what to do and what not to do’s out there. My feeling is that it all boils down to conversation. To coach one needs to be in conversation with another person. Not telling, not demanding, not scolding, not demeaning, but simply respectful and courteous conversation. Let’s not make this to complicated. Management is difficult enough as it is particularly if employee development is viewed as important as it should be.

I have read that 85% of managers are unwilling to discipline as they are uncomfortable with conflict. If they would default to having a conversation with someone, getting to know that persons life, issues, fears, concerns, and struggles, it would be so much easier to reach out a helping hand to assist rather than punish which seems to be the prevailing paradigm.

Learn the simple art of conversation and management will be more effective. People will be treated with respect and courtesy, and the enterprise will be far more effective and efficient in delivering the value to the customers.

Coach on and stay in conversation and have far more fun being a manager and leader.

John