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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

06 Oct '12

Dialogue is the key to understanding

Posted by T.J. Addington in dialogue, problem solving
As an author and writer, written words are the tools of my trade - but not in all cases. Organizational leadership can be helped with clear written words. But true understanding of the implications of what is written usually only comes through dialogue - frequent dialogue.

People learn differently. For many, their primary learning method is not reading but hearing. But the most powerful way to learn is that of dialogue together because it is in the give and take of perceptions, ideas, levels of understanding that the best understanding takes place. In addition, one can see the others face, expressions and hear their intonation. Face to face is always better and face to face with mutual dialogue is the best.

Many leaders forget this. They think that because a memo was sent or an all employee email popped in everyone's inbox that people "got it." In fact, they may have "gotten" something very different than what was meant, even by good communicators. In fact they got the memo. They may not have heard what we said. Or understood the implications.

Interestingly, leaders also learn through dialogue. They learn how best to communicate what they are trying to convey. They learn when what they are saying is not clear which changes how they communicate it the next time. And, they are challenged to an even sharper version of what they are sharing. They may even realize there are weak spots in their plans!

There is no substitute for leaders finding time to interact with their staff. People want to understand, not simply hear. Discussion and dialogue is the key. If you lead, how often do you dialogue?