If you haven’t caught it, I’m running an unconference called Agile Dialogs; you can find out more about it at http://agiledialogs.org.
So why would I want to take on thorny topics, ones that seem to bring out flamewars? Because the lack of listening to each side as we argue from each other’s sidelines seems an inane way of advancing our craft. If we want organizations to advance their thinking, we in the community need to advance ours and listen to those with differing opinions. It doesn’t mean we need to agree, but we do need to listen, truly listen to what the other side is saying. When we decide to challenge the other side, we need to do it in a manner that isn’t trying to cole them into accepting we are right, but to have them think through why they are taking the position they have chosen. We may reaffirm it, but in the process, we will have had them rethink underlying assumptions.
Dialog is about understanding and elevating assumptions so we can find answers to our questions and perhaps a new better way forward. I know I am a believer in good estimates when they make sense and when they don’t not even bothering with them. But perhaps when I thought they weren’t useful, there was a better way to have made them useful. I certainly welcome learning that in a manner that doesn’t start out with – hey bud you are wrong. That closes down dialog as that is about winning an argument. Save the arguments for a debate, let’s find out what makes each side tick and see what we can learn.
I hope you will join me!