Man­ag­ing & Talk­ing

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas - SRINI PIL­LAY

Con­struc­tive con­ver­sa­tions are a vi­tal part of any leader's job de­scrip­tion. But the im­por­tance of con­ver­sa­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion as a lead­er­ship skill is some­thing that can of­ten go un­ex­am­ined. There is ex­ten­sive ev­i­dence that shows there is a time and place for con­ver­sa­tion — and any leader or as­pir­ing leader would likely ben­e­fit from a more se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion of the pit­falls of some types of di­a­logue.

Crit­i­cally, the nu­ances that lie within and around con­ver­sa­tions are of­ten as im­por­tant as the con­ver­sa­tions them­selves. Con­ver­sa­tions may cre­ate the il­lu­sion that some­thing is be­ing done or that one is pro­gress­ing when all that is be­ing done is com­mu­ni­ca­tion with­out the nec­es­sary ac­tion. Though con­ver­sa­tions that progress ex­clu­sively through mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and emo­tional con­nec­tion can be help­ful when form­ing teams, they can also be very de­struc­tive in ne­go­ti­a­tions. We may be in trou­ble if all we do is “feel” what an­other per­son is say­ing in or­der to un­der­stand them.... Con­ver­sa­tions are also of­ten held in or­der to achieve con­sen­sus, but con­sen­sus on its own does not im­ply ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship. Hu­mans are prone to mul­ti­ple il­lu­sions and psy­cho­log­i­cal traps, and hav­ing a con­sen­sus about these may lead to mass delu­sion rather than ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship.

From “3 Prob­lems Talk­ing Can't Solve”

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