Are Conversations Really That Important?

There are no shortages of improvement tools, strategies and models organizations can draw from when striving for new levels of performance and growth. We have process improvement projects, all manner of assessments and inventories, training and workshops, coaching, strategy and brainstorming sessions, workouts.  My consulting mentors used to remind us that we're "in the fashion business." Hence, the annual parade of new improvement and transformation flavors of the month.

In my undying affection for the mantra that simple is an asset (thanks, Doug) , I prefer to summarize my decades of exprience with the idea that the quality of work and work culture is equal to the quality of our conversations. When people learn how to have better conversations, they do and feel better.

Of course in the developmental phases of my rich consulting career, I learn the fine art of all the fashionable interventions on people, process and profits. And I would today easily argue that every time things got better, it was directly and explicitly when people had better conversations. Yes, conversations matter that much. 

Part of what makes this proposal viable now is that today we have a much deeper understanding of the pattern langauge that makes for good conversations in any context. It is much easier to teach people the conversations that make a positive and more sustainable diffeence.