In my experience, conversations around change tend to be difficult for folks to meaningfully engage with as they are often theoretical high level visionary conversations or concrete and practical which tend to be super scary for most as they worry about where they fit in so they throw up resistance. Often the visionary conversations are too futuristic for most, while the high level discussions are so generic it is difficult for them to be meaningful – e.g. who is going to disagree that organisations should be better at sharing data or systems should be interoperable?
Here are few questions that may be helpful in shifting the conversations you are in:
- If this worked, what might happen next?
- What is the bigger picture we are creating with this initiative?
- How would we know if we were successful?
- What are you able to offer or contribute?
- what else needs to happen for us to be ready for action?
When I remember to ask these questions, I find they encourage and invite people to share ideas & inspiration as well as inviting concrete & realistic commitment determined by them, not by me.
And now for the bonus question. It’s actually two working together and it’s mostly for you and your self awareness – how do your views align with those of others? And what insights does this provide you in how you need to approach future conversations?