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. 🙂