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A new meeting goal

Back in the day, when I gathered my team for a meeting, it was because I had something to tell them.

A new project, direction, technology, or idea I’d conceived behind closed doors that I wanted to announce.

As we discussed it as a group, my idea would change. Morph into something better, or possibly entirely different.

Not just through the exchange of ideas, but through the process of dialogue with my team.

Afterword I remember thinking, “When I called the meeting I thought I knew what I wanted and why. But, by the end, what I wanted and why changed. I wonder how that happened?”

I stumbled on this quote last week while researching Relational Leadership, from Mikhail Bakhtin, which resonated with me. (Emphasis added by me.)

“Dialogue here is not the threshold to action, it is the action itself.

It is not a means for revealing, for bringing to the surface the already-made character of a person; no, in dialogue a person not only shows himself outwardly, but he becomes for the first time that which he is – and, we repeat, not only for others but for himself as well.

To be means to communicate dialogically.” (Bakhtin, 1984)

Heady stuff, but worth considering.

This might also explain why I talk to myself throughout the day, a bit like a crazy person. And, it explains why when I write out my ideas, I find myself in a different place.

These are forms of dialoguing with myself.

The next time you sit down with your team, consider that the dialogue “is not a means for revealing” your ideas, but is how you discover and know your idea truly for the first time.

With that in mind, meetings with your team can take on a whole new purpose.

Share this with your team, and see what they think. 🙂


[SPONSOR] My friend Cory Miller is starting a 5-week leadership group to help you manage better. I recommend you check it out.

About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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