My Diary Oct 10: On Dialogue

There are some things that give me unbearable tension. Holding a training program scores the highest on that count.

I recently conducted a training program on coaching. At the risk of being labelled immodest, may I say that I am not exactly a new comer to the field of coaching? But it is one thing to do it yourself and another thing to run a program.

I slept just two hours on the previous day. The program was well received. I have now realised that learning coaching skills is a crying need for middle aged persons. It is a skill that they can apply in personal life too.

Learning to coach introduces you to the way to hold a purposive dialogue. While learning coaching, I was surprised at the number of times I would stray in to discussing details that does not take the discussion forward.

My discovery in the coaching programs was that managers find it so difficult to move from the role of a supervisor [it often requires you to be evaluative and judgemental] to the role of a coach, which abhors being judgemental. Do we have to be judgemental in our role as a manager so often? We are not really required to be so judgemental but we simply do it out of habit. Perhaps we enjoy it too. Removing the judgemental inner voice is the greatest leap forward to one’s growth.

The more I read about dialogue, the more I am convinced that I should have focused on the skill of building dialogue early in life. Nobody taught me. Nobody teaches it. Unfortunately this is a skill that is not even discussed at the management schools. Not to my knowledge! I would even go far to say that many of the jokes that circulate in offices are actually invectives of various degrees that get mistaken as humour or wise cracks!

Hopefully I will be able to work on holding a training session on ‘how to hold meaningful dialogues’ sometime later in my life. I want to do it.

Even if I have to spend sleepless nights on the previous day, it will be worth it.

Vivek

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