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Jacquie Molloy guides senior leaders to develop and display leadership authority (what she calls Authoritas); helps Boards to discover the power (and imperative) of exploring differences of opinion through Debate; and shares the practices for personal authority, high-performing teams and cultural excellence with individuals and organisations so they can be Visible in all the right ways.

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Tuesday
May222018

Are your conversations rich enough?

Conversation is where it all happens.
 
You hear yourself have to put logic and reasoning around emotion and energy and you hear others do the same.
 
In the big scheme of things, conversation creates community. In our teams and departments, it’s also how we create community — and collegiality.
 
And it’s how we collaborate and bring different perspectives and ideas into the mix.
 
There’s a trap that some fall into. They can judge too easily (by default — which is to say, unconsciously — or with full awareness) where they assume the valued contribution will come from.
 
Yes folks we’re talking about diversity and inclusion.
 
Diversity — gender, age, race, religion, cultural tradition, geography, tenure and type of education or background — allows us all to experience a full range of perspectives.
 
It creates a different lens through which to observe, digest, question, solve.
 
Not surprisingly, organisations and teams that truly value diversity develop a greater capacity to adapt and ... wait for it ... innovate. 
 
(By the way, saying you value diversity is simply lip service if your habits, behaviours and practices in all facets of operations do not 100% reflect inclusion.)
 
Even though diversity and inclusion are hot topics, many organisations, boards and teams take a too slow incremental approach or simply resist altering the status quo at all.
 
They resist because of the way they perceive challenges of unifying those differences and the mess and change it could create. "Disruptive!"
 
I’m not the first to point out that this, ironically, is exactly the argument for promoting diversity. It’s hard to be stiff and antiquated and diverse; shielded and entrenched and also inclusive.  

People generally think that teams that work together harmoniously are better and more productive than teams that don’t.

But in a study we conducted on symphonies, we actually found that grumpy orchestras played together slightly better than orchestras in which all the musicians were really quite happy.
 
That’s because the cause-and-effect is the reverse of what most people believe: when we’re productive and we’ve done something good together (and are recognized for it), we feel satisfied, not the other way around.
 
In other words, the mood of the orchestra members after a performance says more about how well they did than the mood beforehand.
 
— Diane Coutu, author of How Resilience Works
from an article ‘Why Teams Don't Work’, May 2009

How rich are your team’s conversations?
 
How well are you able to recognise and subvert the dynamics that have become entrenched over time and might now be amplifying some voices and diminishing others?
 
If you’d like some ideas on how to reset dynamics and make sure your teams are able to canvass, discuss and debate the ideas and issues that are mission-critical, let me know and we can set up a time for rich conversation!

« Fusion vs Compartmentalising | Main | Words (and ideas) matter »

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