Processes for fruitful communication that makes the most out of the collective intelligence.
The following are some thoughts on processes for good communication between people that give birth to great ideas and solutions.
Establish a common goal.
A group of people can be brought together to explore the paths that would benefit the whole community the most. And this, above else should be the objective of the session. One has to try to really consider all of the perspective and strive to do what’s best for the most people. To come to an optimal compromise of sort. People need to have the underlying philosophy that would dictate their way of thinking and doing things. Utilitarianism for example.
Reminder of humbleness.
People need to before any conversation be reminded that the current beliefs of anyone is many times formed unconsciously or consciously but in any way each person’s beliefs are always based on limited knowledge as no one can know it all. Hence, we must be open-minded and given a logical line of reasoning with new insights update our beliefs. There’s nothing wrong with changing one’s mind. It’s not personal as someone’s beliefs do not constitute you. We always change. Better change and be right, than stay and be wrong. It is a courageous act to come in terms with that you might have based your opinion on a perspective that didn’t do you right. That’s it… there’s nothing more to it. It doesn’t mean someone is stupid or anything else. Practices to detach yourself from your ego might be helpful before beginning the session.
Understanding of each other.
For good communication some prerequisites might be helpful. For example knowing the background of a person, current life, their expertise and future plans. Underlying values, worldviews, philosophies, reasoning behind them etc. To get a glimpse into the holism of every person with all of their indescribable emotions, feelings and underlying map of where they come from and what they desire. This really strengthens the understanding that we are all humans that share many common wishes.
Sessions can start by getting to know each other where one person asks another person questions to better understand the other person and then vice-versa. To facilitate the process a good list of questions might be given to participants to choose from.
Start the session where people explore solutions by asking each other questions until something clear arises. One person asks first another person questions to really get their perspective and vice versa. At the end all people’s solutions are summoned and prioritized according to the best arguments. A map of arguments/lines of reasoning and comparison of them with each other in an objective manner. An optimal compromise is then reached. Where all options are considered and most acceptable is selected.
There are many organizational frameworks out there. E.g. Socioacracy, Holacracy, Teal organizational paradigm and other organizational psychological/sociological frameworks. Technological tools or platforms for sense-making can also facilitate collection of insights, ideas, arguments, and systems thinking. There is also a potential of leveraging AI that would help to synthesize all of the sphere of knowledge and arrive at best solutions. Swae.io is trying to do something like that.