Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. Conversation and dialogue are an excellent starting point for developing the solutions for ensuring stronger, healthier and more vibrant communities.
Ultimately the changes required in our communities won't be driven by government, business, programs or policies. Instead the changes will be led by people - everyday people who step forward to work locally with others to create the changes they want to see. According to Margaret Wheatley, the following attitudes and behaviours will assist in creating effective and transformational 'Great Conversations':
- We acknowledge one another as equals; each one of us is welcome and needed in the circle.
- We stay curious about each other and ourselves and avoid jumping to conclusions.
- We recognize that we need each other's help - we are wiser together.
- We slow down so we have time to think and reflect, respecting silence.
- We look for the wisdom beyond the 'truth' of facts, in each other's story.
- We speak one at a time, responding relevantly and from the heart, without analysing or debating the contribution of anyone who has previously spoken.
- Focus on what really matters to you, regarding the topic or question at hand.
- Contribute your thinking - one at a time.
- Avoid debate, analysis and rebuttal - speak from, and for, self.
- Listen to understand the wisdom in everyone's contribution.
- Respect the silence.
- Link and connect ideas, look for patterns, movement.
- Speak from both your head and your heart.