Weathers Gets Attention of Anderson Business Community
Simply put, connected conversations are dialogues that allow people to introduce new information and perspectives in which each participant in the conversation is open to receiving.
These conversations can only be had if there is a safe space for those involved in the discussion to share their thoughts.
Why does this matter in business?
Businesses operate in dangerous territory, and risk losing valuable assets, due to the inability to have proper dialogue. It’s important to understand the difference between dialogue and monologue. Charles Weathers, CEO of The Weathers Group, gave a great example at the August edition of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast forum “Toast ‘n Topics.”
At the event, he stated that monologues are one-sided. He illustrated this by reminding the audience that they’ve all been in situations where “people are waiting for you to stop talking, or take a breath, so they can say what they want to say.” Dialogues, in contrast, allow each participant in the conversation to introduce new information or perspectives to consider – with the listeners being open to understanding.
Once a person has shut down, not willing to talk, then it creates an even bigger problem within the organization.
Weathers presented a familiar workplace scenario, where subjects “A” and “B” had a problem. Rather than going to subject “B,” subject “A” shares the issue with subject “C” – who shares the issue with subject “D.” “Meanwhile,” said Weathers, “B doesn’t even know that there is a problem between them and subject A.”
Most problems in the workplace occur because the environment doesn’t promote connected conversations. Those with open door policies have closed-minded people behind those doors, and they often don’t want to talk. Weathers asked, “Why is it that we put so many people in customer service positions who don’t like people?”
As a reminder, the number one fear in business is conflict. Weathers says, “If you are truly my friend, and you have a problem with me, come and talk to me about it.” He travels the country, consulting businesses and organizations, teaching them to have those uncomfortable conversations – reminding everyone that we all have prejudices.
“Prejudice simply means to pre-judge,” said Weathers. By opening the door for connected conversations, we can eliminate or counter those differences and work together to achieve greatness.
In the case of business, conversations lead to better relationships – leading to results. People can tell how you feel about them by how you talk to them. If you talk at them, and not to them, they feel discounted as a person.
Here are several take-a-ways to having value-based conversations. Leaders who take heed will achieve great results.
Toast ‘N Topics, held every first Thursday monthly, is a breakfast forum that focuses on timely and relevant topics that effect the Anderson Area business community. It is designed to keep the community and its professionals informed, and provide an opportunity for networking and business exposure.
For more information on this event, or other events, contact the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce at (864)226-3454, or visit www.andersonscchamber.com.