“Conversation is one of the most effective ways to access the thoughts, experiences and wisdom that lie hidden inside other people’s heads. It enables us to discover the extraordinary diversity of humankind, and to gain an empathetic understanding of how others view themselves and the world.”- Roman Krznaric, How Should We Live?
The impact of conversation is illuminated perfectly in the opening quote by Australian philosopher Roman Krznaric. Conversations can be very powerful and influential in life. Even in our fast-paced lives where people are increasingly living digital lives, finding it easier to send tweets and instant messages, conversations are still sought after and greatly appreciated. In the world of business this is also true.
Think about strategic planning, and how important it is to the future of your business. Strategic planning is about envisioning the future of your business and mapping out a strategic direction. To take advantage of strategic planning effectively it makes sense to involve all your staff, and focusing on conversation during strategic planning sessions can be very beneficial. Having a conversational style strategic planning session doesn’t mean it’s simplistic; in fact it can be more effective and impactful because conversation is an easier way to connect as conversation is how people naturally communicate. Management consultant Marcus Coetzee agrees with this in his highly informative blog post on strategic conversations.
Conversations as a way of communicating is a crucial aspect of what makes us human. It’s how we have shared information, sought support, asked for advice, vented, created a sense of values, among many other benefits. Conversations often lead to many unintentional results; you never know where things will go, and that’s a good thing. Conversations can be illuminating and clarifying. They can also inspire and motivate staff to do greater things. Conversations can help us feel more connected to each other, which is also important. And with more of us working from home, scheduling conversations, even via Zoom, is even more crucial as we are at risk of isolating ourselves.
To put it succinctly, conversations can be transformational and create connections. And making connections is powerful.
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