Making Conversation: Seven Essential Elements of Meaningful Communication
November 30, 2020
A former Senior Partner and Global Managing Director at the legendary design firm IDEO shows how to design conversations and meetings that are creative and impactful.
Conversations are one of the most fundamental means of communicating we have as humans. At their best, conversations are unconstrained, authentic and open—two or more people sharing thoughts and ideas in a way that bridges our individual experiences, achieves a common goal. At their worst, they foster misunderstanding, frustration and obscure our real intentions.
How often do you walk away from a conversation feeling really heard? That it moved the people in it forward in some important way? You’re not alone. In his practice as a designer, Fred Dust began to approach conversations differently. After years of trying to broker communication between colleagues and clients, he came to believe there had to a way to design the art of conversation itself with intention and purpose, but still artful and playful. Making Conversation codifies what he learned and outlines the four elements essential to successful exchanges: Commitment, Creative Listening, Clarity, and Context. Taken together, these four elements form a set of resources anyone can use to be more deliberate and purposeful in making conversations work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fred Dust is the Senior Design Advisor for the Rockefeller Foundation, and was previously a Senior Partner and Global Managing Director at international design firm IDEO. A leading voice and practitioner of human-centered design and networked innovation, he helps organizations in media, finance, retail, and health confront disruption stemming from shifts in consumer behavior, social trends, economic pressures, and new technology. Prior to IDEO, Dust worked as an architect and spent eight years working with independent artists and major art organizations. He chairs the board of Parsons and sits on the board of the New School, NPR, and the Sundance Institute. He lives in New York City. For more on Fred Dust, visit: https://makingconversation.com/talks
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