#33 One critical element to make Change happen

Deepa Natarajan

In this episode, Deepa shares the key learnings she received from Dr. Paul Lawrence.

He previously appeared on the podcast and shared lots of insights which Deepa later noticed in her

workshops. Deepa talks about the significance of dialogue before we listen in on her interview

with Dr. Paul Lawrence.


What is this critical element?

[0:59] Dialogue. It’s essential when you want to embark people on a new vision.

However, when managers want to do this, they often think about how to get people aligned. This

approach actually takes away creativity, and Deepa explains that what we should be aiming for

is coherence that allows us to make the change happen together.

Dialogue is critical because the time when the decision is made and the time when the organization starts the action is usually very short. The number one reason why change initiatives do not happen on time is because of the lack of dialogue and shared understanding of where the everyone is going and how they will get there.

The two main reasons that dialogue doesn’t happen are:

1. We don’t take time for dialogue.

2. We don’t know how to dialogue.

Three key messages that Deepa took away from her interview with Dr. Lawrence.

1.[4:01]”] We really need to prepare for dialogue. It’s not about convincing people; that’s a good way to fail. Create time in your agenda because dialogue can take a lot of it. Also, identify which people are critical influences to ensure they are included in the dialogue.

2. [6:49]Make sure the dialogue session is very different from a traditional question-and-answer session. People want to engage in dialogue and not just ask questions which get answered by the manager. The responsibility of the manager in a dialogue is to

understand the frame of mind of the person asking the question.

3. [11:17Allow people to enrich you. Allow people to point to you and explain why the new vision or change is hard to achieve. Have a conversation about exactly why it is so hard. We need to take two steps backward if we want people to take eight steps


Unless you deeply listen, unless you actually see the negative sides along with the people and acknowledge that, they are not going to see the benefits of change.’’

Make effective change with Rethink Leadership Methodology

Samskara Dec 2021 Issue #08

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