People Gotta Talk – – Know-It-Alls Need Not Apply How Today's Leader Needs to Facilitate More Dialog

People gotta talk!

The internet was originally an electronic brochure.  With the rise of Facebook, blogs, and various “testimonials websites” (Angie’s List, Rotten Tomatoes) this society EXPECTS, in fact demands to be involved in dialog.  Organizations, especially associations, are struggling with the issue of getting the Millennials to join, or get involved.  Yet they also struggle with getting and understanding feedback and dialog.

People gotta talk!

The old “show-up-and-throw-up” sales pitches in the past are going the way of pet rocks.  Today the imperative is the trusted advisor who listens TO THE CUSTOMER.  (What a novel idea).  Prescription without diagnoses equals malpractice.

Today your value is as much determined by the questions you know to ask, as it is by the information you know.  In fact, many organizations are struggling with the value of their sales people.  In the past the sales person was the keeper of information.  With information free to anyone with a phone, the sales person needs to become a facilitator.

People gotta talk.

Strategic Planning, once the bastion of expensive consulting firms, whose MBA pool cranked out plans that sat on shelves, is now giving way to Graphic Facilitators and group sessions that move at the speed of light.  The Who’s Who of corporate America are moving to highly interactive sessions that gather information and buy in from the collective wisdom of executive groups.  Planning in the past that took weeks and months now happens in hours.  The old adage of the power of an idea whose time has come, applies.  The additional energy of a group of champions who had input into a plan does not get by the savvy executive as they plan for the future.

Suggestions on how to get people to talk.  .

  1. Ask questions and then LISTEN. If you ask a question and there is profound silence, do not give into the temptation to fill the void with the sound of your own voice. Just wait.  Eventually someone will offer a thought.
  2. Stop over preparing. The person who knows all the answers, moves past the joy of the impromptu creativity that comes with dialog.
  3. To see the trees move away from the forest. It is said that an expert is someone who is 50 miles from home. They come with new insights.  They question the status quo.  The lawyer who has himself as a client in a fool.  There are times when your beliefs blind you to the new.

People gotta talk.  Are you listening?

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