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What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 17 May 2009



What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 107
Posted DateSunday 17 May 2009 13:04 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://www.nancydixonblog.com/2009/04/what-do-we-get-from-co ... 
PeopleNancy Dixon

I love the power of conversation - its the driving force behind my Knowledge Cafes. Another person who loves conversation is Nancy Dixon and she has taken to blogging about it recently. This is what she had to say about conversation in a recent post What Do We Get From Conversation That We Cant Get Any Other Way?
The greatest benefit of conversation is that it produces five categories of responses (answers, meta knowledge, problem reformulation, validation and legitimization), not just the answer. We get so much more from conversation, e.g. an unexpected insight, a sense of affirmation that inspires us to new heights or, equally useful, having to confront a realization that we've been trying to avoid; deepening the relationship with a colleague or the introduction to a collaborator we would never have discovered on our own; and on and on.

Credit: Nancy Dixon
I suspect, there are even more then five categories. When you enter into a conversation, you are never sure where it is going to take you. Sometimes, you set out with a goal in mind but end up in a very different place. I always tell people at my Knowledge Cafes that it is OK to go off topic - if that's where the conversation leads you - don't resist it - go there - you never know what you might find. So I would add serendipity to the list of categories. What would you add?

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
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