Posted on July 31, 2013
Why is Conversation a Valuable Resource?
Why is conversation and dialogue not always fully appreciated? In the contemporary business environment we need to view conversation and dialogue as a valued corporate resource that is part of contemporary management learning in both the physical and virtual environment.
In knowledge creation terms, conversation is part of sharing tacit knowledge and occurs in a variety of places and spaces. KM expert David Gurteen runs the international Knowledge Café’s where the very heart of learning and sharing is conversation. In Emotional Intelligence terms dialogue opens the door for empathy, collaboration, and positive results. Understanding the other person’s point of view is critical.
In the physical environment colleagues meet each other for coffee informally (the water cooler effect), or they may simply meet on the staircase or corridor. The physical yet informal meeting may often result in meaningful dialogue and the exchange of ideas. The same is true in the virtual environment either through threaded discussion in the online community or via a blog conversation, knowledge jam or knowledge café. The exchange of ideas may lead to new mental models arising as a result. Thus conversation may occur verbally or through the written word where the power of language and language sensitivity comes into play.
This resonates with the power of ideas! In my book Personal Knowledge Capital I have a chapter on the Magic Box (Young 2012)! The Magic Box is a visual metaphor for conversation. Conversation as a solution releases greater levels of creativity; creates new insights, ideas and tips; leads to changed perceptions about issues; may lead to rethinking beliefs and is a healing medium. Conversation and dialogue are healing! No wonder it’s a powerful negotiation tool!
Dialogue and conversation is a valuable resource! It may enable individuals to see things from a different perspective and this may result in healing. A conversation in an online community can result in new ideas arising which in the business world can result in creative solutions for the business. It can become a valuable online resource/repository for others to learn from. Conversation may lead to greater levels of creativity and innovation in an organization and therefore the mantra is conversation, conversation, conversation…. talk, talk, talk!
Janette Young, Knowledge Futures, Knowledge Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Learning Facilita and Designer for Knowledge, Innovative Management and Leadership, Personal Development and Education. Author of Personal Knowledge Capital,