Do you enjoy good conversations? When was the last time that a deep dialogue left you with a buzz? What makes you avoid or pursue talks with people?
Recently, I was privileged to experience an engaging conversation with some young leaders. There were times within that interchange that I internally wanted to disagree with some of what was being expressed. And, yet, the longer I listened, the more I appreciated their perspective. In other words, I learned… I learned that young leaders are smart. I learned that their hearts are big for positive change. I learned that they truly want to be recognized for their contribution and want to make a difference with their lives. And, l learned that they really value relationship! The experience proved to be an immensely helpful discovery out of a deeply rich dialogue.
It has been my observation that monologue-rich leaders dominate while dialogue-rich leaders influence. When we allow and even encourage the conversation, we are given the opportunity to not only influence the present reality but also the relationships that are impacted by our humility for the long run. Initiating the talk is one of the most effective ways of leading by serving.
This is what I’m learning about being a dialogue-rich leader:
Ask a lot of questions.
Avoid responding to anything with dogmatism.
Encourage differing opinions.
Refrain from always having an answer.
Listen, listen, listen!
Conversation adds value. When we engage in deliberate discussion, incredible amounts of learning is the potential. The talks we have with our teams, with other generations, and with co-leaders as well as those in higher levels of influence can take us further on our leadership journey. Leader, lean into the practice of dialogue. When we learn to be better conversationalists, we will learn!