Conversation Is a Core Business Practice

Pay attention to conversation because it can change your organization! Conversation helps you develop and renew the four relationships fundamental to effective organizations and effective fund development.

Conversation means an interchange of ideas in which two or more participate. But conversation is more. Consider this thought: “… it is in how we speak with one another that we experience respect from others and whether we are being heard.”20 Conversation is more than talking. Conversation:

  • Is carried out face-to-face, in writing, and through technology.
  • Includes casual, informal chatter and more formal discussion and formal dialogue.
  • Uses discussion and dialogue as specific techniques to accomplish particular goals.

Humans are social beings. We connect through conversation. That’s how we learn. Through conversations we build shared knowledge and generate new insights. We make commitments and organize for action.

Conversation happens between individuals and among groups within your organization and between your organization and its community. Your conversation can be formal and structured or casual and unstructured. Either way, conversation—even chance encounters—requires both intent and an initiator. Sometimes there is a purpose and desired result for the conversation. Other times, there may be no purpose but casual contact.

Conversation produces community, and a sense of community generates commitment.

Systems thinker Alan Webber ...

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