In my last post in this Dialogue Skills series, I talked about learning and that fact that real learning requires practice. So how can you practice dialogue skills? Perhaps the easiest situation is when you are expecting a meeting or conversation to be somewhat difficult. You know the other people there are likely to hold different… Read More


The video I just posted doesn’t show all the slides. In practice, there isn’t a Powerpoint deck that I can post, because many of the slides are hand-drawn by me during the talk. So, instead of slides, here’s a summary of the key points. Improving our people skills can Make our projects more successful Encourage gender… Read More


Over the past few years, I’ve been building up material on how we can all learn people skills.  Late last year I finally got it all pulled together into a 30-minute presentation.  The presentation includes several important things which I have not yet covered in writing on this blog. I presented the talk at last… Read More


It’s overrated by some, but still really, really important: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/01/theyve-taken-emotional-intelligence-too-far/ (The regular series of Skilled Dialogue posts will resume in February)… Read More


This series of posts is about how to learn people skills, and dialogue skills in particular.  So what does it mean to learn something? I fear our education system gives us the wrong idea of what learning is about.  It’s easy to finish one’s days as a student, and leave with the impression that learning… Read More


[Note: regular readers of this blog will notice the title of this post is waaay off topic. But bear with me. There’s a tenuous link to the usual subject matter.] At the bus stop, reading Twitter, I was struck by the antagonism of political tweets.  Are the actions of the Right ever actually influenced by… Read More


The Myers-Briggs personality test classifies you as Introvert or Extrovert, Thinker or Feeler, and so on. It gives you a  four-letter type like “INTJ”. The catch is, Myers-Briggs is  kind-of bad.  If you’ve ever felt that Myers-Briggs seemed promising, but failed to deliver long-term benefits, here’s why. Reason 1: Labeling ourselves is harmful Myers-Briggs gives you… Read More


In my recent conference talk I mentioned the “ladder of inference” as a thinking tool, and described how it can help us understand the views of those who disagree with us.  The end result may be that, having understood the basis for their views better, we find those views more persuasive that they first appeared.… Read More


Ten years ago I had a false start in learning dialogue skills.  It was one of several false starts, in fact! In this particular instance, I read a book on technical leadership.  Unlike the books I now recommend, this older book was based more on opinion than research. It seemed to be telling me that,… Read More


Last week I spoke at a conference on People Skills for IT Professionals.   Like some of my older talks on the topic, this one included a semi-autobiographical account of how workplace people skills are learnable. But unlike my talks of a few years ago, this one also included some fairly solid details on what those… Read More