Dialogue: Chaos With A Purpose! Mark Porter 23 February 2024

Dialogue: Chaos With A Purpose!

How does your organization solve problems? Is it focused on the immediate issues, or does it focus on the root cause of the problem? Are solutions created at the top level and forced upon the frontline worker, or do they engage the frontline worker in developing solutions?

Most of my early-in-career work experience involved a top-down structure focusing on the immediate issue rather than creating solutions to the underlying problem. This is a methodology that inhibits sustained competitive advantage, promotes employee attrition, and stifles developing high-performance teams!

Dialogue is foundational for creating high-performance teams who advance resolutions to the root causes of organizational problems. Dialogue is collective inquiry where people think together and achieve their collective potential. There can be an appearance of chaos during dialogue because participants share perspectives; however, participants eliminate their bias towards their personal perspective and focus on building towards a collective solution. Dialogue is a safe zone where people are willing to engage on dangerous issues. Participants suspend their assumptions, don’t impose their personal viewpoint on others, but feel free to openly share their thoughts. Dialogue focuses on inquiry!

Discussion was the primary form of communication in many of the “team” meetings I participated in during my early career. The intention was to argue “your” perspective and win! The typical winner in these discussions depended on “who” said the option and whether the option aligned with traditional methods for doing things. Unfortunately, the solutions provided did not generally solve the root cause of organizational problems. I felt alienated, undervalued, and eventually became compliant with the wishes of others. I was not as valuable to the organization as I could have been!

Dialogue is a necessary element of solution creation, but it focuses on inquiry rather than decision-making. “Skilled discussion” is an extension of dialogue when team members need to make a decision, reach agreement, or prioritize options generated through dialogue. The characteristics foundational for skilled discussion are identical to dialogue except the focus is making a decision. Personal viewpoints are supported by facts and decisions are reached through a global lens. Skilled discussion focuses on deciding!

High performance teams engage in collective inquiry where the group IQ is greater than individual IQ’s! High performance teams generate higher level solutions! High performance teams embed the solutions in the company culture! High performance teams foster sustained competitive advantage!


Soteria Alliance generates organizational solutions through dialogue!

Soteria Alliance instills the foundation for effective communication!

Soteria Alliance stimulates and embeds High-Performance work cultures!