Posts Tagged ‘Dialogue’

Have you ever ask these questions?

Apr 20, 2010 // No Comments » // Change Initiation | Conversational Circles | Leadership Infusion

When I first saw this trailer in the Autumn of 2008, my immediate reaction was “I must watch this movie!”. I am not sure is it because of the controversial theme or because of its unorthodox genre, but it never reach our shore. But thanks to online shopping I managed to get hold of the DVD last year.

I am gauging the response using this blog-post of anyone interested in coming into conversational circle to share your view about this topic. If there is enough interest shown, I would like to hold a conversational circle in middle of June 2010 to watch this movie and invite you into the circle to share your thoughts. (More details in CC Touchpoint)

Everyone know that the ability to ask question is one of the most critical skill in contemporary workplace. When was the last time you have asks questions or for that matter, allow to ask question? When did we last heard the notion of ‘It takes two hands to clap’?

You may want to get hold of this movie/documentary titled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” from your local video outlet or online at iTunes store.

Mastering the art of ‘Agreed to Disagree’.

Apr 12, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Conversational Circles | Team Intervention

Woody Allen – Acclaimed Screenwriter, Film Director, Actor and Comedian (not in that particular order of merit).

Billy Graham -  American Christian evangelist, is best known for his worldwide evangelistic crusades preaching the message of Christianity to more people than anyone in history.

What can we learn from them about  the art of agreed to disagree? Quite a fair bit I thought after chanced upon this interview video clip on YouTube. A few excerpt to highlights:

Woody (0:10) – “Whether you agree his (Billy Graham) point of view or not on things…extremely interesting to talk to…I don’t agree with him on many of great subjects…”

Billy (0:40) – “It’s very nice to be with you Woody and I like to say there’s some things that I don’t agree with you on…”

Woody (0:46) – “Yeah…but the question is which one of us will be converted by the end of this conversation…”

Alright, I hope this is enough to wet your appetite for this clip. But the point I would like to bring across is not really about the interview per se but the manner both gentlemen carried the dialogue with strong disagreement and conviction of certain values and assumptions and how they brought their thoughts across yet with space for each other to be ‘touch’ and listen to. I thought there was much ’learning’ from the dialogue.

David Bohm (1917 – 1992). Renowned physicist and theorist who was one of the most original thinkers of the second half of the twentieth century says this:

“…people can share the frustration and share their different contradictory assumptions and share their mutual concerns and stay with it – if everybody is concern together, and looking at it (the concern) together – then you have a chance of common consciousness.” (On Dialogue, p38)

ConversationCircles’ vision is to enable organization and community the ability to create meaningful, collaborative and authentic conversation. We are only at the beginning of this dream and we hope that YOU are in this journey with us.

I have also included a facilitator guide for an experiential activity titled “Fall Out Shelter Problem” that help team to work on learning the skills of agreed to disagree.

Download HERE. Do feel free to drop me a note if you need further help on the guide.

Note: if you really enjoy the clip, go to YouTube and catch the part 2 and see how they end the conversation…Have fun!

Harvard’s Lecture

Mar 11, 2010 // No Comments » // Conversational Circles

I would like to invite you to join me at Harvard for a series of lectures by Michael Sandel. Michael is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His books include Democracy’s Discontent, Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics, The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, and, most recently, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? His writings have been translated into eleven foreign languages and have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Republic, and the New York Times.

The 12 lectures focuses on wide variety of topics ranging from Moral, Life and Pleasure, Freedom of Choice, Action and Purpose etc. Topics are mainly philosophical and at best epitomized human wisdom. Though I am into only the third lecture myself (about 55mins/lecture), what I find useful is Michael’s ability to capture the large audiences attention through his questioning techniques and creating powerful dialogue amongst the students. Here’s what others said about his lecture series:

“(Sandel) is able to conduct remarkably effective dialogues in those large classes, like a conductor picking out a wind here, a brass there. He poses moral dilemmas so acute one could escape the agony only by thinking.” – Kathleen Sullivan, former JUSTICE teaching fellow, now a professor at Stanford Law School

“He is the greatest teacher I have ever seen. He is able, without visible effort, to make a lecture to students seem like an intimate, Socratic dialogue.” – Jed Rubenfeld, former JUSTICE teaching fellow, now the Robert R. Slaughter Professor of Law, Yale Law School

And there is more…do visit JusticeHarvard to watch the 12 episode videos, episode summary, discussion guide, addition readings and many more. You can even join a discussion circle or start your own discussion group.

A point to note, I am recommending the Harvard’s lecture series for its method of discussion, the challenging questions and methods of inviting conversation that we can learn from as facilitator and less so for its philosophical contents.

Have fun!