Reflections on Six Conversations

This week I had the opportunity to participate in two sessions delivered by Bill Brewer of DesignedLearning that were related to Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging.

Here is a brief video which summarizes the six conversations. Despite what is says, it only runs a little over two minutes, but like anything from Peter Block, you need to watch it a few times to begin to understand the impact.

 

In addition, here are a few of my notes from the sessions if you are interested.

  • To create a future which is different from our past we must shift our thinking 180 degrees about cause and effect. For example, the audience is responsible for the performance, not the players on stage.
  • The etymology of the word “accountability” come from when Roman Senators needed to stand up and be counted during votes.
  • When Peter Block says that questions should create anxiety, he is referring to his belief that great questions make us confront the fact that we have a choice.
  • A great question for a consultant to ask on a regular basis is, “What doubts do you have about this?”
  • We only have doubts about those thing we find to be truly important. In other words, having doubts is an indicator of the importance of the issue we are confronting.
  • When providing someone with content (information) it is important to establish a connection before you provide that content, otherwise the content is likely to be rejected or not even heard in the first place.
  • In most organizations, control is accomplished by disconnection (sometimes even the threat of disconnection) of the individual from the group. Superiors believe if I can disconnect you, I own you.
  • Most policies are in place because someone previously screwed it up.
  • Sharing presentation slides ahead of time is a mistake because it states that you are making a prediction about the future and as we all know the future is unpredictable. Henceforth, I will do my best not to share my slides ahead of time.

I would be happy to engage in any conversation you might want to have about this great subject.

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Six Conversations

  1. “We only have doubts about those thing we find to be truly important. In other words, having doubts is an indicator of the importance of the issue we are confronting.” –good stuff!

    1. Thanks, Brian. If you have not read Peter Block, I highly recommend his work. Perhaps the most interesting is called, The Answer to How Is Yes!

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