Archive for January, 2010


“Elevate the Conversation” (Outstanding!)

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

NOTE: As I was finishing up Don’t Just Talk, Be Heard! last Spring, my good friend John Miller called one day to say he had a new book he wanted to write. (Translation: Let’s start writing—today!) Fantastic!, I thought. And, AAAAHHH!!! Needless to say the next few months were crazy. (I actually started to have repetitive motion issues in my right elbow from all the writing.) But it worked out great. I got Don’t Just Talk out in September, as you know. And now, (Ta Da!) the official release date of Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional is upon us! I’m really excited about the book, and wanted to share a bit of it with you today.

(FYI, the official release date is this Thursday, the 7th. You can place advance orders now at Amazon if you want, or just visit your favorite bookseller on the 7th.)

Since communication is the subject nearest to my heart, here’s Chapter 32 from Outstanding!: “Elevate the Conversation.” But the other 46 chapters are full of information that’s every bit as important for your organization’s success. Really, one of my favorite things in working on the book was the growing feeling as it came together of what an incredible resource it was going to be for organizations. It’s just SO full of great stuff!

Anyway, you can see a bit of that for yourself right now. And I hope you check out the rest soon.



Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional

Chapter Thirty-Two
Elevate the Conversation

In organizations, people need to talk to each other. Sounds obvious, I know, but sometimes there are groups, teams, or departments that just do not communicate with each other very well—even when they’re in the same room! And, even in our high-tech world of virtual meetings, webcasts, and online chats, getting people together still brings tremendous value. Being face-to-face is a fundamental human need that isn’t going away just because we’ve come up with time- and money-saving meeting options. The desire to know our teammates better, to understand their views, and to be connected to them is a powerful one, and it’s still best done in person. And since there is less face time available than ever before—at least in most organizations—it’s even more imperative that the time invested in a gathering be both productive and constructive.

When I first started working with teams, I remember how odd it seemed that people didn’t speak up or communicated in “code,” failing to address real problems Over time, I began to see that there are four levels of conversation or communication among teams and workgroups. “Team talk,” if you will, ranged from non-existent to truly healthy, valuable, and meaningful. I call these levels the “4 D’s” and here they are:

To call this lowest level “conversation” is really a misrepresentation because there is no talking or communication going on at all. (more…)

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