In his bestselling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey encourages us to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
To understand what is really going on today requires active listening and a willingness to embrace the uncomfortable.
There has never been a more important time for your organization to participate in meaningful dialogue than today. Not many of us alive today can remember the civil rights movement. There are certainly not many in the workforce that participated in this movement. By some accounts, the movement began in the 1940s and lasted until the late 1960s. Even as a child in the 60’s I can remember being afraid. I remember the deaths of well-known Americans, the marches and protests, the riots and looters, and the civil unrest which was rampant across America.
The fear that I felt then as a child may be like the fear that some of your workforce is experiencing today. Is it time for meaningful dialogue to combat those fears?
Fear is often overcome by understanding. Understanding starts with learning. Learning happens when ideas and perspectives are shared and contemplated.
While diversity and inclusion are important aspects of a thriving business, an organization can take actions to diversify and give the appearance of including all without truly understanding the impact of policies and actions on individuals.
A meaningful dialogue approach allows individuals throughout the organization to have a voice.
Dozens of people have reached out to me over the past several weeks expressing their beliefs that they have no voice and that those in leadership do not care whether they have a voice.
We are firm believers that leaders who create space for individuals to participate in dialogue in a meaningful way often place themselves in the position to listen, learn and benefit from the workforce.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
— Ralph Nichols