JLBC: HAVING EFFECTIVE CONVERSATIONS
JLBC Cadets leadership is all about creating possibilities and overcoming mental blocks in our minds and those of others around us. When we overcome mental and physical blocks, we are able to propel our creative thinking out of past circumstances and present and into a very rich future that we control.
JLBC Cadets In many ways, possibilities are at the heart of being a visionary. Often, a leader’s vision creates the stimulus (i.e., mind map) that causes individuals and organizations to deviate from the current state.
FIELD PATTERNS — RECOGNIZING THEM
Otto Scharmer believes that conversations can bring forth a world of possibilities in organizations through shifts in “field patterns” and “... once a shift occurs, it is reenacted by all participants.” He identifies four distinct field patterns: Downloading, Debate, Dialogue, and Presenting.
• Downloading. In this field pattern, people engage from a position of what they want to hear. People are polite and cautious and generally do not speak their minds. These conversations are centered mainly on the past or present because they reproduce what is considered acceptable.
• Debate. Divergent views are present in debates, and people open up to viewpoints that challenge the status quo. Arguments are seen as contests to be won or lost. This pattern can be helpful in organizations because it opens the door to new possibilities by putting different views on the table.
• Dialogue. Moving from debate to dialogue in an organization is a profound shift because people shift from winning, losing, or defending, to inquiring about another’s views. They become reflective, willing to alter their view and start to see themselves as part of a system or collective.
• Presenting. In this field pattern, the conversation shifts from self-reflection to speaking about what is moving through the design or otherwise being created. People talk to shape and nurture a possibility that “needs a voice” to keep it alive. It is a series of moments of co-creation when the group collectively sees a new common ground and a possibility for an emerging future. The difference is that we have now clarified that the enabler for achieving the highest level of cooperation is the type of conversation occurring among the participants in the team.