The Engaged Conversationalist


It's often said that the most dangerous people are those who have never had a conversation. In other words, they've only ever talked to themselves. And while that may seem like an exaggeration, there's definitely some truth to it. A leader who has only ever had conversations in their own mind is a very dangerous thing. A leader with too many inner monologues is a recipe for disaster. They're not used to hearing other points of view, and they're not used to being challenged. As a result, they're more likely to make decisions that are based on their own personal biases and judgments. They're also more likely to be impulsive and reactionary, rather than calm and rational. Instead of becoming lost in their own thoughts, leaders need to foster a culture of open communication and dialogue. Only then can they truly understand the needs of their followers and make the best decisions for everyone involved. In short, a leader who has only ever had conversations in their own mind is a ticking time bomb.

When Rosalind Brewer became the CEO of Starbucks in 2017, she knew that she had her work cut out for her. The coffee giant was struggling to regain its footing after a series of PR disasters, and Brewer was determined to turn things around. Part of her strategy was to visit each Starbucks location and talk with employees and customers. This gave her a chance to get a better understanding of the company's strengths and weaknesses. It also allowed her to build relationships with the people who were most important to Starbucks' success. So, over the course of her first year on the job, Brewer made it a priority to visit every Starbucks location around the world. In addition to meeting with employees and customers, Brewer used these visits to get a better sense of how each store was run and what could be improved. Thanks to this hands-on approach, Brewer was able to quickly identify areas where Starbucks needed to make changes, such as streamlining its operations and increasing its focus on customer service. As a result of her efforts, Starbucks is now in a stronger position than ever before.

In today's business world, the ability to communicate effectively is essential for success. However, many people confuse communication with conversation. While both involve the exchange of information, communication is about transmitting a message, while conversation is about exchange of ideas. This is an important distinction, because leaders need to be able to do both. Leaders must get out of their heads, out of the office and be an engaged conversationalist. This is the most important point I can make. You can have all the title in the organization, but if you're not engaged with people, you will fail. Leaders need to have conversations with people, not just about task and deadlines. They need to find out what's going on with them, what's important to them and what they're thinking about. To do this effectively, leaders need to get out from behind their desks and talk to people face-to-face. They need to be accessible and approachable, so that people feel comfortable talking to them. Only then will they be able to gain the trust and respect of those they lead.

By Dean Miles

Keywords: Business Continuity, Mental Health, Startups

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