What is Conversation?

Defining Conversation

How do we define conversation in its most basic forms?

This post explores the tasks associated with entering into conversation, with special focus on “conversation for agreement,” which is typically found in our workplaces. Discourse, Dialogue, Diatribe, and Debate styles of conversation are examined, as well as the ways in which conversation with the self differs from group and organizational conversations.

Human Needs in Conversation

What do we need to feel satisfied in conversation?

This post explores four categories of human needs in conversation, per the research: Mutual Understanding & Common Ground, Trust, Active Listening, and Humor.


Identity forms Culture

How does conversation impact the development of an organization’s identity?

This post explores how conversation at all three levels (self, group and organization) can build upon one another to create a shared identity. When this shared story becomes corrupted, it can take much effort and focus to change the narrative. Effective conversation can ensure organizational values align with behavior.

Forces Undermining Good Conversation

What frequent challenges do we face in our workplaces?

This post explores the challenges we face in our workplaces. At the self level, we have fears that can inhibit our ability to connect, learn, and share. At the group level, there are always those challenging personas that can often lead everyone feeling disempowered. Even leaders can impact organizational conversation and mindset when certain traits trickle down. This isn’t about judgement; it is about identifying cycles of conversation to get “unstuck” from these frustrating patterns as well as avoid becoming enablers in the system.


Connecting the Dots

What is an interlocutor, and what benefits could this role provide for organizational conversation?

This post explores the benefits of formal interlocutor roles within organizations – how they influence group conversation, serve as the bridge between disconnected people and aid in breaking down siloed, institutional knowledge.