Last week, in a quiet café, I witnessed two intelligent people shouting at each other over a latte. Neither seemed once to listen to the other, in their twenty-minute heated exchange. I speculated that if I had interrupted them and asked each what the other had just said, they would have been unable to say… I was reminded of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, when the bard cautions us not to let life become a tale ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’.
I felt seething fury last week. I had avoided giving a colleague some difficult feedback about the impact working with him was having on me, and eventually he confronted me about the inevitable leakage of my irritation. I was not pleased with myself for avoiding giving timely feedback, nor was I best pleased with him for the public confrontation. While we ironed out our differences, the situation got me reflecting on how to have ‘courageous conversations’.
What moves you? What turns you on or off? How do you get your needs met? And how far will you go to get what you want?
I was supervising a group of coaches recently when I realised, to my dismay, that we did not share a common understanding of ‘dialogue’. To me, coaching at its best is deeply dialogic – yet so many introductions to coaching – like the GROW model, and conceptions of performance-coaching – are not at all dialogic; just because talking is involved, doesn’t make it dialogue – we could be having a conversation, discussion, debate, for example! I thought it was time to clarify what I mean, as a Gestaltist, by ‘dialogue’…