A team conversation this week prompted the reflection that fresh perspectives and new productive actions result through focused, yet carefree talk. Noting carefree might not be quite the right term, it’s certainly not care-less. By focused yet carefree, we mean that uninhibited talk that is based on trust. Talk that is not wedded to any specific decision and is focused on meeting the agreed objectives, delivering agreed outputs and outcomes.
One way to describe how our work as facilitators of strategic decision taking and planning delivers value is through the clarity and commitment we prompt through focusing their “talk”. The new insight for us was that we deliver more value if we facilitate more carefree talk.
In our experience talk with other people is always productive. The requirement to be clearer, more specific and less abstract to communicate effectively one’s thoughts and feelings often produces new perspectives. The questions from others help. The challenge from colleagues, the questions from a supportive and perhaps even an antagonistic perspective do provide breakthroughs, they can illuminate an issue not previously seen, can show potential new paths. Talk helps.
Focused talk adds a further dimension which is about being disciplined in your talk. Often as a facilitator we add value simply by keeping the team focused on the agreed question or issue at hand. Being clear about both what and how we are talking. Focused talk invites all parties to be clear with each other. To contract with each other on purpose, objectives, outputs and outcomes.
The new insight for us was how much being carefree adds. Entering the “talk” free of cares about what the specific decisions and actions of session may be. Starting the workshop or the meeting letting go of any pre-considered analysis and not being wedded to any particular path or solution, yet being focused on the purpose and desired outcome can produce a better outcome. We find that being carefree opens the mind, encourages better listening and can deliver more value. Value through a way ahead that everyone is committed to and more likely to deliver. Value delivery through focused yet carefree talk.