Dialogue vs. Discussion

Written by Graeme Nichol

Have you ever sat in a meeting where everyone is busy giving their point of view and trying to prove why they are right? Where no one is actually listening or trying to understand other individuals’ points of view. The alternative meeting format is where everyone listens to and agrees withrepparttar meeting leader. No one contributes or adds ideas, they are just compliant.

In my experience most meeting are either one orrepparttar 149184 other. But when you think about it, what isrepparttar 149185 point of most meetings? Meetings are usually held to make decisions. The outcome that most people would want fromrepparttar 149186 meeting is thatrepparttar 149187 BEST decision is made, not that any decision is made, or another sub-committee is formed but that a decision that delivers results is made. Then we move on.

So as we hustle from meeting to meeting being very busy, achieving nothing inrepparttar 149188 way of measurable results, we land up with yet another sub-committee. All because we have lostrepparttar 149189 art of dialogue. So,repparttar 149190 question is; what isrepparttar 149191 difference between dialogue and discussion?

DISCUSSION – Discussion isrepparttar 149192 way that most people communicate. During discussion we present our ideas and everyone analyzes and dissects them from their different points of view. The purpose of discussion, though, it to make sure you win, or that your point of view isrepparttar 149193 one that is accepted. Duringrepparttar 149194 discussion you will support your idea and give your points more strongly until, eventually, others agree with you. You want to prove that you are right, andrepparttar 149195 most knowledgeable, as does everyone else inrepparttar 149196 discussion. Great! With everyone trying to winrepparttar 149197 argument, no decision is ever made and we eventually need to form a sub-committee to decide. Orrepparttar 149198 CEO, or team leader, uses his or her divine autocratic right and decides forrepparttar 149199 team.

DIALOGUE – Dialogue onrepparttar 149200 other hand is an exploration of ideas. It is not a new form of communication but isrepparttar 149201 wayrepparttar 149202 ancient Greeks and many so called ‘primitive’ societies are seen to explore ideas. During dialogue everyone works together contributing towardsrepparttar 149203 idea. Rememberrepparttar 149204 team is greater thanrepparttar 149205 sum ofrepparttar 149206 parts; therefore more is achieved fromrepparttar 149207 dialogue as each person’s ideas add torepparttar 149208 last. In a dialogue no one is trying to win. They are trying to learn and create. They suspend their individual assumptions and explore ideas and issues. It is a free flow of ideas where participants continue to think and watch themselves think. The great physicists Heisenberg, Pauli, Einstein and Bohr describedrepparttar 149209 conversations they had with each other. As we know from history their conversations (dialogue) changed traditional physics because what they could achieve as a group exceeded what each could do as individuals. Interesting? So who is ‘primitive’ now?


Written by Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

Best Definition of “Corporate Culture”

If you ask 10 people to define “organizational culture,“ you will get 11 different answers!

Fortunately, from my consulting and writing on leadership and organizational change, I created my definition of organizational culture:

“Corporate culture is how every employee knows she or he must act – even if no one is watching.”

Knowing your company’s culture proves crucial for multiple reasons, including: + Only organizational changes that fit into your company’s culture will succeed. Changes not fitting intorepparttar culture will fail and not achieve desired results. + Hire employees who fit intorepparttar 149150 corporate culture. That is, “Do not try to fit a square peg into a round hole!”

Fastest Way to Uncover Your Organization’s Culture

From my consulting experience, I devised a super-quick way to uncover an organization’s culture: Discoverrepparttar 149151 story all employees know and tell other employees. In fact, hearingrepparttar 149152 company’s signature story is a right-of-passage for new employees. Hearingrepparttar 149153 story implicitly tells a new employeerepparttar 149154 actions and valuesrepparttar 149155 organization expects.

Here are two examples taken from my book entitled, Absolutely Fabulous Organizational Change™: Strategies for Success from America’s Best-Run Companies.

1st Story: Ritz-Carlton-Hotel Company

Leonardo Inghilleri, senior vice president of The Ritz-Carlton-Hotel Company, told me this story often is repeated among his company’s employees.

“Ladies & Gentlemen Serving Ladies & Gentlemen”

When he was 14 years old, Horst Schulze -- currently president of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company -- worked in as an apprentice waiter in a very fine restaurant in his native Germany. Initially, he saw himself as a “servant.”

Then, he realizedrepparttar 149156 fine restaurant was staffed by highly skilled professionals. For example, he looked in awe as he repeatedly sawrepparttar 149157 maître d' chat with and entertainrepparttar 149158 diners. In fact,repparttar 149159 maître d' spoke many languages. So, he spoke German torepparttar 149160 German diners, French torepparttar 149161 French guests, and English torepparttar 149162 English customers. He also expertly helped diners with their food and wine choices. From this experience, it dawned on Horst Schulze that a luxury establishment is composed of ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. He instilled this insight into The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company where he now is president.

Ritz-Carlton’s Culture

Company president Horst Schulze’s experience gives rise to The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s customer care motto which precisely expresses its corporate culture: “We Are Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Note: The company’s culture perfectly dovetails with Ritz-Carlton’s big, exciting, compelling vision: “Our key goal is to berepparttar 149163 premier worldwide provider of luxury travel and hospitality products and services.”

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