Brainpower for Democracy or Demolition?

Democracy or Demolition

If you agree that democracy as we deem it – can make a mockery of human engagement – you likely also see value in facilitation that communicates across differences.

Few disagree that a well run democracy adds immense brainpower by raising worker engagement. Yet  Gallop Management Journal surveyed annual worker engagement and reported 73% of  US workforce as disengaged. The cost?

Disengagement costs the US economy $300 billion a year. Lately I’ve observed tone as a key tool to build or demolish workplace equity. Have you noticed how  democracy engages more workers at the top with tone at its center, and yet disengages top talents when tone’s  misplaced?

Tone tosses ten communication tools into a democratic mix.

Tools that failed democracies, and poor communications tend to abandon – for gridlock or greed.

How so?

  1. Tone affirms others’ ideas to show you value people, even when you disagree.
  2. Tone thanks people often for ideas offered, and shows gratitude for differences.
  3. Tone shares personal stories respectfully and in ways that create curiosity.
  4. Tone asks 2-footed questions that draw others’ contributions into consensus.
  5. Tone resists meta-messages which state meanings other than intended.
  6. Tone avoids swearing in favor of remarks that add no offense or cynicism.
  7. Tone inspires others by suggesting doable solutions for any problem raised.
  8. Tone acknowledges others who progress, and celebrates people’s success.
  9. Tone models body language and gestures that value others, and laughs at self easily.
  10. Tone refuses to take offense yet comes with courage to speak up for ethics.

Check yes to any of these ten elements in your tone approaches – and you’re ready to lead innovation in an era that begs for a finer way forward.

The difference between democracy building, and demolition flattening is brainpower that facilitates innovation with good tone in mind. What do you think?

If you agree that democracy as we deem it – can make a mockery of human engagement – you likely also see value in facilitation that uses tone for communicating across differences.

Tone tosses ten communication tools into any interactive mix. Tools that failed democracies, and poor communications tend to abandon for gridlock and greed:

  1. Tone affirms others’ ideas to show you value others, even when you disagree.

  1. Tone thanks people often for ideas offered, and shows gratitude for differences.

  1. Tone shares personal experiences respectfully and in ways that create curiosity.

  1. Tone asks 2-footed questions that draw others’ contributions into consensus.

  1. Tone avoids meta-messages which state meanings other than you intended.

  1. Tone avoids swearing in favor of words that add meaning without cynicism.

  1. Tone inspires others by suggesting doable solutions for any problem raised.

  1. Tone acknowledges others who progress, and celebrates people’s success.

  1. Tone uses body language and gestures that value others, and laughs at self easily.

  1. Tone refuses to take offense yet comes with courage to speak up for ethics.

Check yes to any of these ten tone elements and you are ready to lead innovation in an era that begs for a finer way forward. How so?

The difference between democracy building, and demolition flattening is brainpower that facilitates innovation with good tone.

3 Comments

  1. Hi Ellen, at times I tend to form ideas in my head as others speak and this can cut down on my ability to listen well. Would you agree that Tone listens well and hears what others say before you advance your own ideas?

    Just thought of this as I read your excellent post here.

  2. eweber says:

    Good point Robyn, and yet I’d add here that possibly tone comes after listening. When we listen with others view in mind – we tend to follow with the tone skills references here.

    You speak for many of us in that we forget to listen. Tone skills suffer as a result since we are left to state our own view and miss the keener views of person we failed to hear. What do you think?

  3. Couldn’t have said it better, Ellen.

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