A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to by Annette Simmons

By Annette Simmons

This article exhibits readers the way to use the method of "dialogue" to aid teams realize and enhance their undesirable verbal exchange behavior. It explains the character of discussion and why it's so tough to accomplish, and provides a step by step "recipe" for discussion.

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Extra resources for A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear & Distrust at Work

Sample text

We simply hide behind partial truths; prepolished, politically correct routines; or sins of omission that distort perceptions and fracture an organization's ability to adapt. " How can we expect to meet our deadlines, keep our customers happy, or ensure quality with bad data? Engineers call it stacked tolerance. When a tiny tolerance of plus or minus a Page 4 thousandth of an inch stacks up, the combined effect can destroy the integrity of a system. " In terms of communication, we might even say the group ends up discussing falsehoods instead of the truth.

Even when this thought does occur to us, we have many reasons why telling the truth just won't work. Why not? Why can't we tell the truth? It's dangerous, that's why. It's dangerous for many reasons. Most of those reasons have to do with wanting to keep our jobs. But at what price? Holding back the truth means holding back other things, such as enthusiasm and commitment. Why can't we create a place safe enough where we can tell the truthwhere we want to tell the truth? It would have to be a very safe place.

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