Bringing the practices of mindfulness and dialogue to leadership conversations

Sounds of silence

Posts Tagged ‘Internal dialogue’

Sounds of silence

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Since my return from a silent retreat, I find myself talking a lot about not talking. The irony doesn’t escape me. While words can’t fully express the experience and impact of silence, I continue to explore how I might articulate its merit in embodying dialogue practices.

I’ve written about silence before – in my book, Pause for Breath, and in an article for Coaching at Work, about a visit to Bhutan. In the latter, I described silence as part of the landscape – a textural backdrop into which sounds seemed to fall and dissolve. (more…)

Being faithless

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One of the quotations on my office wall is from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem The Invitation. The particular verse that serves as inspiration and support centres on our capacity to be true to self, and so risk disappointing another. It says:

‘I want to know… if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.’

Our choices about how to invest our energy depend on who we are, what matters to us, and who matters to us. (more…)

Back to basics

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As the year turns, it’s natural to reflect on where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. ‘Where’ questions give a sense of place and journeying, but we could equally reflect on how we are, how we’ve been, and how we intend to be. For some, ‘what’ questions work best, tending to emphasise action, achievements and goals. What is the language of your reflecting process? How does it set a frame for your entry into a new year? (more…)

Still listening?

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This month, I am completing my series of pieces on aspects of the four dialogue practices outlined by Garrett, Isaacs and others: authentic voicing, respecting, suspending judgement and listening. Listening, along with suspending judgement, especially supports skilful inquiry, an intention to draw out and include what is not yet known.

As I began, I realised that I’ve already written about listening twice this year: Giving talk a rest!?, posted here, and Talking well, a guest post for FuchsiaBlue. ‘Giving talk a rest!?’ explores the potential therapeutic impact of listening well – being heard can bring a sense of ease and nourishment to a speaker. ‘Talking well’ considers the whereabouts and intensity of attention.

I want to take these themes further, in support of the idea of listening as receiving. (more…)

Beyond belief

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My two previous posts focused on practices that support skilful advocacy and articulating a point of view, in a way that acknowledges that others may see things differently. In dialogue, advocacy is balanced by inquiry, which invites more participation, awareness and potential in a conversation. This month, I am focusing on one of two practices that support skilful inquiry, namely suspending judgement. Reflecting on the impact of making judgements on our leadership conversations offers a starting place to understand the importance of this practice. (more…)

Gravitational pull

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On two occasions recently I have viscerally felt the ‘gravitational pull’ of a narrative, or ‘story’ about what is taking place. The first experience was evoked by case-work brought to a Dialogue Practice Development Group by a participant. It was an intense conversation between two people, where:

• they held opposing points of view and both were advocating;
• reputations were at stake; and
• emotions were engaged. (more…)

First post

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Welcome to my new website and blog. I hope both will become a resource for bringing the practices of mindfulness and dialogue to leadership conversations. First though, thanks go to my fellow Leadership Embodiment teacher, James Knight, for providing coaching and support to bring my HTML into the 21st century! (more…)