I recently came across Hal Macomber’s Ten New Rules for Project Managers and was struck by how many of the new rules depend on the quality of the conversations that are happening within project teams.
It’s the one thing that I’ve seen that determines the quality of the products I’ve worked on for companies like Aldus Corporation, Adobe Systems, Getty Images, RealNetworks and F5 Networks. The quality of what you create grows from the quality of the conversations you have.
I want to explore is the role of conversation in how we are work and live. In the 20+ years that I’ve managed software testing teams, I’ve seen many breakdowns occur at the end of the development cycle that could have been easily avoided if people talked to each other earlier. The traditional methods of ironclad specifications and detailed checklists no longer support the complex systems that are being developed–often by teams in many different parts of the world. As our society become increasingly dependent on software–in everything from toasters to auto transmissions–we will need to learn new ways to coordinate with each other.
I’m calling my blog “Quality Conversations.” I’ll be sharing what I discover as well as sharing what I find in the recent spate of books published over the past few years with conversations in the title: Crucial Conversations, Difficult Conversations, Fierce Conversations and Powerful Conversations.
You get the sense that there’s something going on here when you add to this list other book titles about dialogue and communication like You Are What You Say, How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, Turning to One Another, The Communication Catalyst, The Last Word on Power and The Magic of Dialogue.
Please add any other resources I should be considering in the comments section.