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the art of dialogue

And the lack of it. Especially in our industry. In the middle of reading the excellent book of W Isaacs, “Dialogue and the art of thinking together”, it struck me how little we use dialogue in advertising. We love to use the word, every company wants to establish a dialogue with its audience. But I suddenly realised how little we know about how to have a dialogue.

Especially with how much our industry thrives on meeting, where dialogue could help so much.

How many times have we got to useless meetings where all parties are standing on their opinions and not willing to change their opinions.

This quote from Ullery Management, summarizes it very well.

When we learn to communicate through our minds, hearts and souls with the desire to connect to the spirit in one another to act for the higher good of all we will be on the way to high performance, understanding, peace, harmony and spiritual progress.”

How many times do we go to meetings, hoping to win over people with our way of thinking? How many times do we want to convince people that our ideas are better? Without giving even a thought about other’s people ideas?

We put otherselves in a debate situation. Coming to meetings with what we want in mind, what we want to achieve, as an individual, as a department or as an organisation. We are fighting for our interest. It’s so easy to forget the bigger picture, our client’s interest, or our audience, stakeholder. We are more interested in what we have to gain from it. Therefore, we ‘think alone’ in meetings, thinking how to win over people, we don’t listen to each other, as we are too busy ‘reloading’, finding the killer argument and the better way to shut the opponent. We are not trying to find solution as a team, but separate entities, fighting for their piece of the action. Not trying to use different points of view to create a better one. We are just too busy trying to convince everyone we are the smartest.

As soon as people realise that, the fact they already arrive in meetings pre-charged with what they want to get from it, they start to change. An transformation occurs.

The ullerly management has a fantastic table comparing debate and dialogue.

Like “In a dialogue the goals are finding common ideas and new ideas. In a debate the goals is winning with your own ideas.”

It helps putting in place dialogue in an organisation, instead of sterile and frustrating debates which still constitues the majority of all the meetings we have to attend.

I’m now starting to change my mindset when i go to meetings and to take a step back when I feel like I’m going in debate mode (I was one of the worse offender). And try to thrive on dialogue. Let’s see what happens!

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