The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.⏤Marcel proust
Four years ago I discovered the remarkable work of the late Judith Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence and many other notable books.
Judith was the keynote speaker for a conference I was helping to organize in the Washington, DC area. As a result, I worked with her on several occasions to plan events and programs for the conference.
Until that time, I was not aware of Judith and her work, and I frankly remember being mildly interested in learning how to have better conversations.
Don’t we all know how to have great conversations?
I fortunately read her book Conversational Intelligence to help me prepare for my meetings with her.
While I enjoyed the book and learned many interesting and really profound new ideas, I still wasn’t sold on the potential and power of conversations.
One phrase that repeatedly came up in the book and in my conversations with Judith was ⏤
To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationships, which depends on the quality of the conversations. Everything happens through conversations!⏤judith e. glaser
The idea fascinated me, yet I didn’t fully appreciate the transformational power of conversations and if I should give them more attention.
But Judith was passionate about conversations and her knowledge and energy on the topic were contagious and inspiring.
It kept me searching for more.
Four Years Later
Now let’s advance the calendar almost exactly four years from that time to my recent conversation and interview with Aviv Shahar.
Aviv Shahar is the author of Create New Futures, a fascinating new book on how leaders produce breakthroughs and transform the world through conversation.
There’s that word again⏤conversation.
Aviv offered a fascinating response to my question, “What do people really lack and long for at work?”
In part, he said ⏤
Whether people know it or not, they long for self-insight and for getting themselves back. When you get yourself back, that’s a big part of perhaps what you’re looking for. Because inside it, you get to appreciate the human condition and your own conditioning too.⏤Aviv Shahar
Aviv’s words riveted my attention and spoke directly to the heart of my work, who I am, and who I am becoming.
I am fortunate to have spoken with so many inspiring leaders. Many of these people share the deeper side of themselves and how they see the world in these conversations and interviews.
One of the cumulative impacts of having this experience is that I have discovered it heightens and advances your own deeper understanding of the “human condition and your own conditioning too.”
Why is this important?
Because it brings about a deeper understanding and capacity to have new conversations.
When I had new conversations⏤initially through my interviews at 5 Minutes to Process Improvement Success and Exploring Forward Thinking Workplaces⏤I was surprised (or maybe even shocked) at what I was hearing and learning.
In time, I realized that I was creating the conditions for new conversations to occur and for wisdom to emerge.
All of which remarkably begins to change you from the inside out. And when you change from the inside out, what goes on inside quiets down. You become more open and creative⏤and less reactive and judgmental.
Or as Aviv Shahar says, you begin to “appreciate the human condition and your own conditioning too.”
Which remarkably leads you to bigger and more empowering new conversations.
A Place to Start
Getting to a place of greater self-insight and doing the work I am doing is for me the place Aviv points to in his response to my question above.
I’d suggest this is a place many are looking to discover to move their lives and what they care about forward.
Getting yourself into new conversations is an amazing and perhaps unexpected way to harvest who you are and the creative part of you.
It also connects you to the field where new ideas and everything else comes from. You become a vortex or focal point for a conversation and a new future to unfold.
We can all enter this space.
Conversation is the core mechanism to enable and facilitate change, transformation and the evolution of an organization on the path to enable and to create a whole new future.⏤Aviv Shahar
Please take a few minutes to read my interviews with Judith at How Do We Tap into the Best Conversations that People Could Have? and Aviv at How to Elevate Yourself, Your Conversations & Your Future.
Then please let me know what you discover and find most intriguing.
To your great work life & success!
P. S. It was just this past week that I learned of Judith’s untimely passing last November. Judith was one of the first three people we interviewed, and she was a strong public and behind the scenes supporter of our work. I can truthfully say I would not still be here doing this work if it wasn’t for Judith. I am deeply saddened by her loss and enormously grateful for her work and who she was.