Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations
Turning to One Another
Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future
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It is impossible to read Turning to One Another in the wake of the devastating attack on New York City's World Trade Center and not marvel at the book's eerie and moving prescience. Of course Margaret Wheatley has already earned herself a (deserved and legit) reputation as the Oprah of "sensitive" organizational books with such titles as A Simpler Way. But this book--devoted entirely to centrality of conversation in healing everything from personal relationships to organizational dysfunction to world discord--flows so broadly and easily across the borders of genre or topic it's almost as though Wheatley intuited when writing it how the need for its message would soon skyrocket. "The intent of this book is to encourage and support you to begin conversations about things that are important to you and those near you," Wheatley writes right up front in the clean, straightforward voice that always saves her work, unlike that of so many other "New Age" gurus, from cheesiness. "It has no other purpose." She then delivers on that promise, making her points in short, succinct, finely written essays on various aspects of human understanding and connection, invoking the thinking of great humanists like Paolo Friere and Nelson Mandela, peppering her thoughts with encounters with people around the world, and then expanding on 10 "conversation starters" like "Do I feel a 'vocation to be truly human'?" "When have I experienced good listening?" and "When have I experienced working for the common good?"
Suffice to say, those looking for some worksheet-packed, three-step plan for organizational harmony won't find it here. Those willing to take a slower, harder, more thoughtful and likely more rewarding path to better relations on any level--or even those looking for the book equivalent of a cool, tall drink of water (perhaps where all change begins)--will be truly moved and genuinely inspired by Wheatley's practical, timely wisdom. --Timothy M --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again."
With this simple declaration, Margaret Wheatley proposes that people band together with their colleagues and friends to create the solutions for real social change, both locally and globally, that are so badly needed. Such change will not come from governments or corporations, she argues, but from the ageless process of thinking together in conversation.
"Turning to One Another" encourages this process. Part I explores the power of conversation and the conditions-simplicity, personal courage, real listening, and diversity-that support it. Part II contains quotes and images to encourage the reader to pause and reflect, and to prepare for the work ahead-convening truly meaningful conversations. Part III provides twelve "conversation starters"-questions that in Wheatley's experience have led people to share their deepest beliefs, fears, and hopes.
Margaret Wheatley writes, teaches, and speaks about radically new practices and ideas for organizing in chaotic times. She works to create organizations of all types where people are known as the blessing, not the problem. She is president of The Berkana Institute, a charitable global foundation serving life-affirming leaders around the world, and has been an organizational consultant for many years, as well as a professor of management in two graduate programs. Her latest book, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future proposes that real social change comes from the ageless process of people thinking together in conversation. Wheatley's work also appears in two award-winning books, Leadership and the New Science and A Simpler Way (with Myron Kellner-Rogers), plus several videos and articles. She draws many of her ideas from new science and life's ability to organize in self-organizing, systemic, and cooperative modes. And, increasingly her models for new organizations are drawn from her understanding of many different cultures and spiritual traditions.