Making Space for Authentic Dialogue
Sometimes it’s difficult to have authentic and genuine conversations in the boardroom. Lots of things get in the way. Hierarchy, history, unspoken blocks. Yet as directors it’s critical that we find a channel for real and meaningful exchange.
Consider a few simple approaches to aid dialogue:
Be Present. All of us experience our own internal noise and have our own agenda. Sometimes we need to still the mind to be present and hear the message from fellow directors.
Listen Actively. Active listening requires us to focus the words of the other and really hear what’s being said. We do this with the mind and body.
Be Aware of Blocks. Sometimes there seem to be “undicussables” which get in the way of genuine dialogue. The literal elephant in the boardroom. Something that all directors know, at some deep level, but find difficult to voice.
Focus on Real Meaning. Sometimes as directors we get bogged down in detail. Our role is to be strategic and ask the right questions. Sometimes we need to dig deep to ensure the organisation is on the right track. But once we’ve done that digging we need to pull back and focus on core governance issues.
The philosopher's stone (lapis philosophorum) is a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base into gold or silver. It is also called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for many centuries, it was the most sought after goal in alchemy.
Authentic dialogue is essential for board renewal. Just like turning base metal into gold it can be transforming.
We have been working with directors for over 25 years around issues of renewal and engagement. Facilitating meaningful dialogue is often the first step. If your board needs assistance to have that difficult conversation contact Geoff Nunn & Associates. Email Geoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
There Are Issues
In this article Board Advisor & Corporate Governance Specialist, Geoff Nunn, considers the current crisis of confidence in our corporations and government institutions. He explores the history and offers guidance to directors on a way forward.