I've never been one to work in isolation— and as a writer and an executive, it's a good thing. The world can be like an office full of testy CEOs with people far too apt to shoot first and ask questions later. The fallout of abuse of power and isolationism has tremendous consequences.
On a micro level, a lack of dialogue builds ill-will between colleagues, disunity, back stabbing, contempt— you name it. On a macro level, isolation is just a super way for creating war— and a field of human suffering. Go Neo Conservatives in Washington!— but I digress with sardonic irony.
One of the best things about my job is being able to dialogue with people as I research articles or build a team. When I approach each topic with a high, positive life condition, I can engage in incredible discussions and hear fantastically fresh ideas. Then hopefully with an equally clear outlook, I can impart what I've learned to readers or incorporate it into an effective strategy.
In the case of journalism, the process of dialogue comes full circle when a published piece generates a discussion with readers— sometimes via a discussion board or in person-to-person email exchanges.
I was reminded of this today when I interviewed Dr. Kenneth Christian, a New York-based psychologist who's written the incredibly well-timed book Your Own Worst Enemy. Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement (Regan Books/Harper Collins). I have to admit that going into the interview I hoped it wasn't going to be another one of those interviews peppered with new age, touchy feely, earthy crunchy pap. And I was not disappointed.
Dr. Christian had fresh insights on how to initiate a job-change conversation. You know, one of those talks we've all had with a boss at some point or other— "I've thought long and hard and I've decided it's time for me to move on." Our interview is going to make great fodder for an upcoming article on CNET's TechRepublic.com. Maybe, too, it'll bring about positive change. After reading the upcoming article, a disillusioned IT executive who is about to resign may think twice about how to do so. Rather than angrily burning bridges, after reading Dr. Christian's ideas, the exec may resign respectfully with integrity and responsibility.
In these small and subtle actions— through a spirit of openness and a commitment to dialogue— it's possible to see how a simple, effective conversation can create positive change. Let's start today. What's on your mind? [ talk back ]