Dialogue LO24155

From: celia moriarty (celia_moriarty@hotmail.com)
Date: 03/11/00

Subject Dialogue
Response to Dialogue L024132 From Balcolm Burson


in response to your querie about the word 'fast' please see Dialogue L0241
where I have expanded my meaning in more depth.

You wrote:

>Celia, I can understand your desire as a consultant to meet your clients'
>expectations, so would not criticise your approach. But in my experience
>the "achievement culture" of such a group, if not addressed, will
>probably keep them from finding a depth of engagement such as that sought
>in dialogue.

It seems that you make an assumption about an 'achievement culture'that is
something that limits the depth of understanding or development of a
group. If a CEO and general management team allocate the resource of
their time carefully - as there are many, many people knocking on their
doors with what are to those people important and urgent priorities, is
this something that limits the growth of the organisation? What is an
organisation if it has no goal? If it does not seek to achieve? I admire
my clients for their ability to take on the challenge of sitting face to
face and working through an issue and all it's ramifications, features and
possibilities (when they know that many other priorities are calling them
that could be dealt with in ways that are more familiar - less out of
their comfort zone). Through it I have seen them again and again align
their values, get to know and respect each other as people and create a
structure to enable and protect those values. Any conversation could
continue ad finitum, but there will always be a point at which the value
is optimised. Within an organisation things do have to get done. We must
act. The dialogue of a group together for two hours or six, is likely to
be far more valuable than two or six months of phone calls independant of
the group, incomplete information, people assuming the others know what
they know, misunderstandings left to fester etc.

Perhaps there are deeper levels they could reach by spending a week
together, but would these help the organisation. The organisation is a
system. The absence of the senior team affects that system even for a
day. The slack must be taken up. The wheels will continue to turn, but
as part of a system the contribution of that team will impact other
outcomes. This is why their time is taken seriously and they seek to
optimise it's use. This kind of group conversation is a leap of faith for
many (most). Only when they come to it and discover their own synergistic
value do they 'get it'! Then the pendulumn or weather vein as Weinfried
refers to it, turns the other way to action.

So, I do not see their need for expediency in the joint finding of a
solution to be something that only achievement oriented cultures(implied
shallow)seek. I see it as living in the real world and they are smart
people who when they get together often astound me at their group depth
and honesty.

When I work for a client yes their needs are the driver, but this does not
mean that I need to compromise my offerring or philosophy. When you speak
in someone elses language with their values in mind you can build a trust
that enbles both parties to reach new ground. It is a mistake to imply
that all consultants approaches are dictated by the clients expectations.
A language is, a direction is, but after that it is trust and the synergy
of working together (which in many cases redefines the expectations
anyway). Their 'expectations' are not what I work with if those
expectations are mistaken, unrealistic or wrong. Otherwise they are not
the client for me (I sacked a client last week because they showed clearly
that they viewed consultants ne. those from outside their team, as people
they used for their own gain with no respect or collegiate spirit - I told
them there was no joy in the relationship).

Yes your assumptions offended me or perhaps sadened me. But more than
that I see the need not to work with our own models, mindsets and
pictures, but to try to work within someone elses picture in order to
bring to them the willingness to see another way. To think differently
than they did before. Just because money changes hands - this does not
mean that the relationship is less. I don't seek a particular outcome
with the group, but them releasing, realizing their own potential. Maybe
just a tiny bit, but maybe the door is just a fraction more open than
before. But do I judge how long it is that they will or will not spend in
the dialgue. No. Because I know that if I do my job well, they'll be more
willing to spend it next time.




"celia moriarty" <celia_moriarty@hotmail.com>

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