O'Reilly logo

Leadership in Action: Conversation Piece: Using Dialogue as a Tool for Better Leadership by Charles J. Palus, John B. McGuire

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

USEFUL OBJECTS

Putting something in the middle is a powerful way to learn dialogue and increase its effectiveness. The technique is simple: a tangible object is placed in the middle of your group and dialogue is focused on it. The object may stand for an idea but should be something participants can actually look at and touch. Objects that have been used include a video of a visit to a customer site, a product prototype, a competitor's product, and personal items such as mementos from learning episodes in people's careers.

Why an object? Objects focus attention in a positive way. In describing observations of an object rather than an abstraction, people become less polarized and argumentative. Objects also help people make personal connections, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required