Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 242 - August 2020


The Gurteen Knowledge Letter is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to members of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. You may receive the Knowledge Letter by joining the community. Membership is totally free. You may read back-copies here.

Gurteen Knowledge Letter: Issue 242 - August 2020


  1. Introduction to the August 2020 Knowledge Letter
  2. Critical Thinking Guide
  3. Have more face-to-face conversations with people you may disagree with.
  4. World Values Day Knowledge Cafe 2020
  5. Using read-aloud to proof read
  6. Conversation Covenant
  7. Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2020
  8. Please help support my work
  9. Upcoming Knowledge Events
  10. Join the Conversational Leaders Forum
  11. Unsubscribe
  12. The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

Introduction to the August 2020 Knowledge Letter

My next online Knowledge Café on Conversational Leadership is coming up on 18th September with the title "We are not enemies". The topic is one that I have been investigating for some months and is close to my heart.

Why are we increasingly polarized across political, religious, moral, and racial divides and why do we think we are right, and people with conflicting beliefs are wrong - so much so that we see them as enemies?

These are fundamental questions given that neither side fully understands the issues.

In the Café, I will look at some psychological research on the topic and make some suggestions as to how we can better conduct conversations over such seemingly unbridgeable divides.

As usual, in a Knowledge Café, there will be ample time to discuss the issues in the break-out sessions and the main room.

I do hope you can join me, not only is it a fascinating topic, but it is critical that we more fully understand our human nature if we are to create a better world.

We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. -- Abraham Lincoln

You will find more information and can register in my blook.

Critical Thinking Guide

You may like this Critical Thinking Guide from the Systems Innovation website.

This guide is designed to help you improve your critical thinking skills as foundational to becoming a better systems thinker.

Have more face-to-face conversations with people you may disagree with.

I recently came across this wonderful Harvard Commencement speech given by Oprah Winfrey in 2013. Close to the end of her talk she says this:
And even though this is the college where Facebook was born, my hope is that you would try to go out and have more face-to-face conversations with people you may disagree with.

That you'll have the courage to look them in the eye and hear their point of view.

And help make sure that the speed and distance and anonymity of our world doesn't cause us to lose our ability to stand in somebody else's shoes and recognize all that we share as a people.

This is imperative for you as an individual and for our success as a nation.

There has to be some way that this darkness can be banished with light.

Thank you Oprah, we really must have more face-to-face conversations with people whom we disagree and we must get better at engaing in such conversations without fighting.

World Values Day Knowledge Cafe 2020

World Values Day is an annual campaign to increase the awareness and practice of values around the world.

For the last four years, in partnership with Charles Fowler, I have held a Knowledge Café as part of the event, so this year's Café will be the fifth since our first one in 2016.

Whenever we engage in conversation, whether one-to-one or in a group, face-to-face or online, we have the opportunity to put our values into action.

There are many values that can be expressed in conversation, such as honesty, respect, trust, integrity, listening, constructive disagreement, speaking the truth, and the search for truth.

Most of us hold these values or similar ones but do we regularly live them in our everyday conversations? And could it be that we lose track of these values when we are talking to others, and that's why our conversations don't go so well?

This is the theme of this year's Café. You can learn more and register here.

Using read-aloud to proof read

My good friend David Creelman gave me a great tip recently for proof-reading my writing. I am now using it in writing my blook.

I have installed the Google Chrome extension Read Aloud - text to speech voice reader. Having past any post through Grammarly to catch spelling and grammatical errors I know use "Read Aloud" to read my posts out loud. It not only catches many typos but helps me improve the flow of my text.

Check it out - such a simple but powerful tool.

Conversation Covenant

David Creelman and I have put together what we call a conversation covenant - an agreement between two or more persons to abide by a set of rules when engaging in conversation. The rules are intended to help people work in harmony to create a psychologically safer space for seemingly impossible conversations.

What's an impossible conversation? It's one that feels futile because it takes place between people who hold radically different ideas, beliefs, morals, politics, or worldviews. But see here for a fuller description.

Take a look, we hope you find it useful and can customise for your own use.

Gurteen Knowledge Tweets: August 2020

Here are some of my more popular recent tweets. Take a look, if you are not a Tweeter, you will get a good idea of how I use it by browsing the list of micro-posts.

  • How Our Minds Mislead Us: The Marvels and Flaws of Our Intuition https://buff.ly/32jjINu

  • 20 Questions to Make Meaningful Connections https://buff.ly/3aUpRDO

  • How to Make Someone Feel Extraordinary by Saying Very Little https://buff.ly/2Q7hQl0

  • BBC podcast: Word of Mouth: Talking to Strangers https://buff.ly/3hlzLk0

  • Groups that eat together perform better together | Cornell Chronicle https://buff.ly/3ghc1ME

  • "Speak truth in the face of danger” | Peter Boghossian https://buff.ly/3137rgJ

  • The concept of a “change agent” is arrogant - change the narrative, not the people | Peter Block https://buff.ly/3kARVR2

  • Rebel Wisdom: "In the middle of the 19th century, the Nordic Countries were some of the poorest in Europe, with the lowest quality of life. By the end of the century, they were some of the wealthiest and best places to live in the world.” https://buff.ly/3koLBMc

  • What is the Hidden Enemy of Productive Conversations? https://buff.ly/39MHHYv

  • “Critical thinking begins with the assumption that our beliefs could be in error, and if they are, that we will revise them accordingly. This is what it means to be humble.” @peterboghossian https://buff.ly/2MligjF

If you like the Tweets then subscribe to my Tweet stream.

Please help support my work

I have been writing and publishing this Knowledge Letter every month for over 20 years and most of you have been receiving it for 5 years or more. My Knowledge Café also had its 17th birthday last September.

If you enjoy my work and find it valuable, please consider giving me a little support by donating $1 (or more) a month to Become a Patron or making small one off contribution.

I am not going to get rich on this but it will help cover some of my website hosting expenses.

I have over 50 patrons so far. A big thanks to you all.

Upcoming Knowledge Events

Here are some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

I'm not so sure if some of these events will still take place and several may go online but I have listed them anyway.

15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
17 - 18 Sep 2020, Rome, Italy

We are not enemies
Fri 18 Sep 2020, United Kingdom

17th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning
15 - 16 Oct 2020, Toronto, Canada

16th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance
26 - 27 Oct 2020, Oxford, United Kingdom

19th European Conference on e-Learning
29 - 30 Oct 2020, Berlin, Germany

21st European Conference on Knowledge Management
02 - 04 Dec 2020, Coventry, United Kingdom

The 10th International Conference on Innovation and Knowledge Management in Asia Pacific
03 - 04 Dec 2020, Sydney, Australia

Twenty-first International Conference on Knowledge, Culture, and Change in Organizations
15 - 16 Jan 2021, Auckland, New Zealand

Join the Conversational Leaders Forum

If you are a reader of my blook or have an interest in Conversational Leadership, you may like to know that I have created a group on LinkedIn to discuss both my blook and the subject of Conversational Leadership more generally.

198 people have signed-up so far but there has not ben much activity as yet though I hope to get some "interesting conversations" going soon.

Do come along and join me.


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The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM newsletter for knowledge workers. Its purpose is to help you better manage your knowledge and to stimulate thought and interest in such subjects as Knowledge Management, Learning, Creativity and the effective use of Internet technology. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by the Henley Forum of the Henley Business School, Oxfordshire, England.

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for resale or profit and I am attributed. And if you have any queries please contact me.

Gurteen Knowledge
Fleet, United Kingdom

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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