There is both an art and science to facilitating powerful conversations within teams and organizations. It is very hard to "teach" the art. As Malcom Gladwell reported in the book Outliers, it takes approxiamately 10,000 hours of experience/practice to achieve mastery. To me mastery is the integration of the science and art.
Throughout this website and my training programs I try to provide as much of the "science" as possible about leadership, systems and facilitating powerful conversations. Our books lay out the science in a logical and sequential fashion - frameworks, strategies, processes, tools and tips. The blogs listed below focus in on single aspects of the overall framework - often around a specific process or strategy.
In today's world the most frequent reframes that I hear in organizations about why it is so challenging to convene powerful conversations has to do with two dilemmas:
My response is often guided by the following quote:
"Dialogue, which strives to build understanding among team members,takes time. Everything else takes more time" Rummler & Brache
Yes, dialogue and powerful conversations take time to plan, convene and conduct, however in countless situations the amount of confusion, hallucination, misalignment and lack of implementation takes so much more time to manage. The impacts of such results can end up as long term organizational patterns that not only impact a specific issue, but the whole way a team or organization operates on all issues. In fact, Zaffron and Morgan quote in their book, 3 Laws of Performance, 73% of change efforts fail and 70% of new strategies fall short of expectations because of the lack of shared meaning, alignment and commitment.
Here at Synectics all of our training programs are directed at teaching the science of leadership and facilitation and demonstrating the art. The 8-day Leadership Practices for Challenging Times program is the most extensive, providing the overall framework along with a range of facilitation processes and practices, each geared toward specific kinds of outcomes. The Master Classes are generally two days in length and more deeply address such topics as:
Diagnosis: From Theory to Practice
The Role of Leadership in a World of Global Warming
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Note: Zuieback, Zuiebock, Zuiebeck, Zweiback, Zweiback, etc. are potential misspellings of Steve's name.