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Change by Dialogue

Change by Dialogue

Naked Leader Week 841 – 30 September 2019

Time to Read: 2 minutes 30 seconds



For this month’s Leader Feature Clive speaks with Sarah Rozenthuler, an expert in verbal interaction – read on for Sarah’s insights.

IMAGINE being presented with a locked box, labelled ‘your potential’.

That elusive ingredient to success, which is something we all have within us, that daily life often gets in the way of allowing us to achieve.

Well, good news. Sarah Rozenthuler has the key to unlocking your full potential, to help you become, in Naked Leader terms, the very best that you already are – in all areas of your life.

Sarah is a leadership consultant, dialogue coach and published author with more than 15 years’ experience working internationally as a professional psychologist.

Widely featured in the media, including the FT, Psychologies Magazine and BBC Business online, Sarah works with senior leaders and successful organisations in a unique area – to have the conversations that matter most.

Her fascinating insight into verbal interaction – framed in the differences between monologue, debate, discussion and dialogue – has allowed business leaders to understand how, more than ever, dialogue is the power tool for progress. A meaningful conversation where people think together, and no one gets to be ‘wrong’, allows new possibilities and innovative ideas to come into view.

‘When people slow down and speak about what is moving through them in-the-moment [in a dialogue], fresh ideas and deeper insights emerge,’ says Sarah. ‘Understanding these different types of verbal interaction helps leaders and teams to carve out the time that true dialogue calls for.’

So, what values does Sarah hold which have allowed her to become a success in her chosen path?

‘Number one would be authenticity and being real,’ she says. ‘So much of my work is about conversation and dialogue and it’s not always very comfortable. You have to go out on a limb and sometimes give difficult feedback.

‘In combination with that it’s about being caring. I am genuinely interested in people and even more interested in the relationships between people and how they build bridges when things break down.

‘I couldn’t do my job unless I really cared.

‘What makes that difficult is I have to try and be on everybody’s side. The feedback I’ve had from people is that they felt that I really cared for them as people.

‘Authenticity and caring as well as empathetic learning. To really listen to people and understand them and care how they feel.

‘There’s also a bit of boldness and courage thrown in there. I’ve always been a bit of a maverick and have gone through times when I’ve had to win pieces of work against the odds. I’ve had to be bold and put it out there by saying that I really want to do that project and work with that person. To be assertive is important too.’

She adds: ‘Think about a time you spoke with someone when there was a difficult issue to discuss and you were able to speak your truth as well as listen to the other person’s truth.

‘How did you feel during the conversation? How did you feel after the conversation? What does this tell you?

These are questions Sarah has the answers to.

Sarah met Naked Leader Founder David Taylor at an event in February when he was a keynote speaker at the Association of Project Management.

David says: ‘I remember the event very well – I was sharing our new offering in Project Leadership, which flies in the face of traditional Project Management, and I was very nervous. Sarah calmed me down just by listening and caring and using very few words.’

Sarah adds: ‘David has a high energy, punchy and funny delivery and engages people right from the get-go. I was really impressed. He has a great message about authenticity and that by being who you really are, you have the most impact.’

There’s that word authenticity again.

It’s time we all got real.

My thanks to Sarah and Clive for a brilliantly practical piece.

With my love and best wishes


* Sarah will soon be hosting a Creating Change Through Dialogue event (November 19 and 20), a two-day programme for leaders, coaches and change agents.

Delegates can discover how to catalyse sustainable change across their organisation, what it takes to shift shift mindsets as well as change behaviour to uplift performance and how to engage others authentically and create alignment around what needs to happen.

To book, click here.

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