Professional Conversations, part 1

October 25, 2017

Lift Your Lead in 200 words*


Professional Conversations
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

TRUTH #1: Leadership is a relationship.  It is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow.  This is the observation of James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their landmark book, The Leadership Challenge (third edition). To be more precise, leadership is a relationship of influence. Leaders influence followers and followers influence the leader.

TRUTH #2: Relationships thrive on conversations.  All relationships function through dialogue, discussion, and disclosure.  Spouses need marital conversations. Friends need friendship conversations. Professionals thrive on professional conversations.  A professional conversation is more than chatting at work or about work.  It is a specific kind of conversation, a discussion in which two or more professionals

  • Collaborate, own, and implement the organization’s strategy;
  • Share decisions, resolve conflicts, and develop mutual trust and respect;
  • Solve problems, improve processes, and hold each other accountable; and
  • Share vision, overcome challenges, and deal with change.

As breathing is essential for the human body, conversation is essential for relationships.  To maintain a vital and productive professional relationship, intentionally engage in professional conversations.


*Most people read about 200 words per minute; this article is 186 words.


About the Author:

Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott is a Professor of Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. He teaches classes at the Masters and Doctoral level in Leadership and Research. At Trevecca he is also the Director of C.L.E.A.R. – The Center of Leadership Effectiveness and Renewal.