During my 45 years as a marketing and communications professional, I served as an executive and/or consultant for scores of entrepreneurial technology companies plus a handful of major corporations and a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.
Discovering the Importance of Dialogue in My Creative Work
In the process of writing and producing countless ads in all media for this diverse array of organizations – plus hundreds of press releases, websites, articles, brochures, white papers, business plans and more – I experienced first-hand thousands of times the value of listening closely to my clients, colleagues and superiors and taking their reactions and input to heart, including comments that countered or criticized my work. In fact, I found that the most critical feedback was often – not always but often – the most helpful.
Yes, soliciting honest responses to my creative work was a necessary part of the job, but I learned early on that this process was much more than an obligation. It was also the route to producing better outcomes — more effective ads, websites and business plans — as well as happier clients and bosses. More often than not these feedback sessions were enjoyable, but even when difficult or uncomfortable they were nonetheless invaluable. I discovered that each stakeholder virtually always had useful insights to offer, and I became an avid seeker of candid feedback and increasingly skilled at collaborative inquiry.
Dialogue in Other Venues
I also produced and hosted several radio interview programs over the course of my career. Most rewarding was a one-hour show called World Views that aired weekly for four years on a community radio station in northern California, KVMR, where I hosted live conversations with interesting local residents and prominent public figures about their lives and work.
My professional experience with dialogue has been accompanied by a lifelong personal interest in communication, politics and conflict resolution. I have been called on countless times by friends, family members and co-workers to help resolve disputes, including successfully mediating organization-threatening executive conflicts at several different companies.
Join the Revolution!
If you would like to foster the practice of dialogue in your own life and in our world at large, I encourage you to subscribe to Real Talk Revolution. This will keep you informed about our developments and, equally important, join with others working to make engaging in genuine dialogue our sanctioned, go-to methodology for addressing our public and private differences.
Thank you for your interest in Real Talk Revolution.
– Ronald Fel Jones
fel (@) realtalkrevolution.com