Rare is the time to chat in our workday, don’t you think?
The other day I sat with Brian, my organization’s director of educational services, and Kelly, our enrollment coordinator. We engaged in something unusual: a casual, unstructured conversation in the workplace.
The topic was something particularly jazzy to those of you born to build casual loop diagrams. We discussed why most human beings work to satisfy expenses fused into their economic situation without reflecting on how or why they follow such looping.
Speaking to how and why we negate conversational looping, we began to discuss how the factor “Work” moves to “Financial Needs” and then back to “Work,” essentially creating a two-stop diagram. You may be all-too-familiar with the vicious snowballing that builds mountains around you, cutting you off from truly connecting with others.
The diagram accompanying this post as an image (born in a Wiki entry) shows a more complex iteration of how work can be regarded, but not a deficiency in it. It is glaring. With all of the looping and human-to-human interactions, there’s no “room” for conversation. No dialogue in a casual loop diagram translates into no real emphasis on the factor.
In order to have a conversation curve in our workdays, we must first realize that educational linguistics offer a chance to learn “how” to become generative with others. In a one-on-one independent study course influenced by the work of Bela Banathy, Saybrook professor Gary Metcalf took the unsuspecting human dynamic of dialogue down a systems pathway for me. My view expanded and my next step was to ask the question, where can dialogue be systematically embedded in our lives to increase intimacy with others so we can learn more?
As I returned from my brief mental flight of reflecting on my generative dialogue class with Gary, I was sobered by the team in front of me (Kelly and Brian), who seemed to point to family and work moments that were full with dialogue or could be with some pattern tweaks.
Kelly shared how walks with her daughters increased the chance to share, learn, and update on another, sometimes leading her to discover too much about the dynamics of school. Meanwhile, Brian chimed in to suggest with a smile how sharing as we were doing at that point in my “team chat” was a ripe example of what conversation can do in a family or business system. Dialogue can create deep, appreciative connecting and re-connecting with others in your life.
So the next time you opt to apply the logical left hemisphere of your brain in affecting your work life, please don’t forget that the aesthetic right hemisphere of your brain wants to participate in your life too.
Chances are knowing systems thinking will serve you well in finding “gaps” in dialogical sharing moments, but it’s the love for deep connecting that allows us to become motivated to remap our day’s work, thrive while there, and return home ready to embrace the place we rest our heads and refresh our souls.
Sure work matters, but without dialogical systems applications, we may be fooled by empty chats and quick communiqués, never really knowing and learning from the wonderful people who surround us.
As our dialogue wrapped up, Brian asked me, “Why not ask readers to post their ‘new loops’ or thoughts as to where they are finding or wish to insert more dialogical moments?”
Spirited by Brian’s request, where do you “lean” in dialogue? Where are you limited by participants? Where does your heart feel it is missing the beat of truly knowing others around you: at work or at home?