Why it’s better to risk dialogue than to please others at work
Too often I have tried to please everyone at work.
I committed results to the CEO that overwhelmed our team. I took on tasks that were not in my domain of responsibility. I completed work that others had committed to — just to please the customer. Each time I felt exploited.
I learned that we shouldn’t automatically put everything on our shoulders.
Use dialogues as places where we can risk something!
Not doing so is foregoing the opportunity to explore a problem together and come to a deeper understanding of how we think.
The principles of dialogue are so important because we can apply them to virtually any situation — whether it’s an operational tension or a major strategic decision. Only in dialogue does a conversation on equal terms become possible. As a result, new things can emerge and we move away from telling others what to do.
Let me summarize briefly what dialogue means:
#1. Speak from the first person perspective.
Report from your perception, and do not try to be an expert.
Try to be fully present. Be aware of the tension you want to resolve, and don’t be afraid of using metaphors when it gets complex. Make feelings transparent.
#2. Do not be influenced by your judgments.
No one knows everything — it’s about joint exploration.
Listen well to each other. Connect ideas to provide inspiration. The goal is not consensus, but innovation by bringing together different perspectives.
#3. Choose a suitable environment.
I like to choose a walk in the fresh air. This works both in person and over the phone. Give yourself 7 minutes each to talk about the topic — without interruption. After that, the result is the new!
Risk a dialogue! The result will surprise you positively.
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