More thoughts on Genuine Dialogue

As I had often written, when I began to work with leaders, I realized I had no idea as to the type and kind of leader I was. During all my years of leading, I never once asked anyone, “what kind of leader am I?” and no one ever told me. In retrospect, I sincerely believe it would have made me into a better leader had I posed the question. The facts bear me out. As I generated dialogue and eventually instituted Genuine Dialogue in the Inner circles of the organizations I worked with, the more the leader grew into a better leader.

Genuine Dialogue is real and desirable but must be carefully and thoughtfully entered into. While I want to be enveloped in Genuine Dialogue with those important to me, it may not always be possible. The experience requires at least two people committed to it who understand and live by its rules. The political climate of today is a perfect example of how complex and difficult this can be. In truth, depending on the subject, Genuine Dialogue may be challenging to undertake, or at the very least, a rare phenomenon.

I say this because the beliefs and powerful emotions of the conversationalists may discourage any “give and take” in the head and heart of the communicators. In such an instance, positions are so firmly established that Genuine Dialogue can be nearly impossible to invite and enjoy.

The process of being present in the moment and open to understanding the other’s words and beliefs, followed by assuring them through confirmation that you’ve heard and understood them, is a must before expressing one’s own position. And, when ideations are strongly ingrained, this is not easy to do.

Research and brain theory suggests that the amygdala precedes the neocortex relative to brain evolution, controlling our emotional outbursts and the physical actions that follow (an early survival mechanism). In contrast, the neocortex, which comes later in our evolution, is a higher-order fact-based brain function that influences our behavior in that manner.

In my opinion, the problem may have more to do with the sources of influence themselves. Are we more like our ancient selves, allowing powerful emotions to influence our behavior? Or are we influenced by a fact-based reality that lends itself to rational thought? These are interesting and serious questions that are potentially answerable from those we live and work closely with. They are those who know us best.
Sy

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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