Dialogue vs. Discussion

Written by Graeme Nichol

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How do you get your team to dialogue? There are 3 conditions needed: •everyone must suspend their assumptions. Dialogue comes to a grinding halt when someone digs in their heels and says “this isrepparttar way”. They need to suspend their assumptions to really see whererepparttar 149184 truth lies. Suspending ones assumptions is not easy, as often they are so deep seated that we don’t even know that they are assumptions! Instead, we take them for beingrepparttar 149185 truth. •team members must be thought of as colleagues and equals. If you manage to think of others as colleagues you will interact as colleagues. Team members will feel less vulnerable and less likely to either want to dominaterepparttar 149186 discussion or not say anything at all. Thinking of everyone as colleagues can be difficult in a hierarchical workplace environment. Can an individual in authority come down from their lofty position and talk to everyone else as an equal or do they like their elevated position and pontificate wildly? •there should be a facilitator. A facilitator can help ensure that ALL assumptions are suspended. This means questioning statements and beliefs as they are mentioned. They are also important in keepingrepparttar 149187 dialogue moving. As a team gets better at dialoguerepparttar 149188 needs for a facilitator is reduced.

You are closer to achieving dialogue when your team meetings are filled with questions. Questions indicate an attempt at understanding. Sit back in your next meeting and see how often a question is asked. No questions = no dialogue.

Teams can enter dialogue if everyone knows what is expected of them in advance and if they truly wantrepparttar 149189 results created through dialogue. Dialogue is playful conversation and everyone must be willing to play with new ideas. Who says you can’t have fun and grow atrepparttar 149190 same time?

I hope you can achieve dialogue in your teams. Since we became aware ofrepparttar 149191 difference and have been trying to practice dialogue we have really had some amazing insights into our business and what we do. We have achieved a whole level of new understandings.

Who knows, maybe there is something amazing that your company could achieve if you all just put your heads together. 1 + 1 = 3 makes a lot of sense!

Graeme Nichol (www.arcturusadvisors.com) has worked on four continents and 23 countires over the past 20 years. Graeme focuses on developing teams that produce results through being focused aligned, accountable and pulling in the same direction


Written by Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

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2nd Story: Intuit

Brooks Fisher, vice president and general manager of Intuit’s consumer internet business, told me Intuit’s signature story isrepparttar following:

“Follow Me Home”

Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, was so focused on understanding and fulfillingrepparttar 149150 customers’ needs that he invented “Follow Me Home.” He would go to a store where Intuit’s software was being sold. Then, while a customer was buying Intuit software, he would ask if he could followrepparttar 149151 customer home. Atrepparttar 149152 home, he would watch howrepparttar 149153 customer installed and usedrepparttar 149154 software.

Intuit’s Culture

Given Intuit’s story, what isrepparttar 149155 company’s culture -- or main focus? Fisher saysrepparttar 149156 story conveys Intuit’s culture which is “The customer always is first.” And, as Fisher puts it, “That’s how you win.” Note: The story also precisely meshes with Intuit’s big, compelling vision: “Our key goal is to revolutionize how people do financial work.”

Hire Applicants Who ‘Fit Into’ Your Company’s Culture

You know it proves difficult to “fit a square peg into a round hole.” Likewise, companies need to hire applicants who ‘fit into’ their organizational culture.

For instance, one company I consult to is ultra-customer service oriented with super-friendly employees. When we did benchmarking studies for this company withrepparttar 149157 Abilities & Behavior Forecaster™ Test – to customizerepparttar 149158 Forecaster™ Test to help hirerepparttar 149159 best – we discovered successful employees in every job scored high on two ofrepparttar 149160 test’s scales: + Helping People Motivation, i.e., customer service-orientation + Friendliness

Such customer service-focused and super-friendly employees ‘fit into’repparttar 149161 company’s culture, and prove most likely to succeed.

Message = Don’t bet against your organizational culture when you aim to hirerepparttar 149162 best. Fortunately, you can do by 1. benchmarking your “superstar” employees in each job – by having them fill-out a validated pre-employment test to discover their “benchmark” test scores

2. focusing on hiring applicants whose test scores are similar to your company’s “superstar” employees’ test scores

Now, You Can Uncover Your Organization’s Culture

To discover your corporate culture, you simply need to uncoverrepparttar 149163 story that 1. employees hear in their first week on-the-job and repeat to new employees 2. perfectly conveys how all employees must act – even when no one is watching!

Usually,repparttar 149164 story is aboutrepparttar 149165 company’s founder. It typically conveys insights and actions that lead to remarkable, profitable success.

© Copyright 2005 Michael Mercer, Ph.D., http://www.DrMercer.com

Michael Mercer, Ph.D., is a speaker, and book author. His five books include (a) Absolutely Fabulous Organizational Change™ & also (b) Hire the Best -- & Avoid the Rest™. Dr. Mercer developed the Abilities & Behavior Forecaster™ Test – which helps companies choose productive applicants. You can (1) get a free subscription to his e-Newsletter at http://www.DrMercer.com or (2) call him at 847-382-0690.

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