A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear & Distrust at Work

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Press:Amacom Books AMACOM; 1 edition (May 1, 1999)
Publication Date:1999-05-01
Author Name:Annette Simmons


"No more ""checking for feet."" This illuminating guide gets people to tell the truth at the meeting--not in the bathroom afterwards. 
Almost everybody does it--lie, that is.
In one recent survey 93% of people admitted to lying regularly at work! Why? Because it's safer than telling the truth.
Sadly, organizations cannot succeed in this poisonous world of half-truths, strategic omissions, and doctored information.
To function optimally, businesses must create an environment where people feel free to tell the truth, no matter how disturbing.
Only then can organizations unleash the responsiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm necessary to achieve their goals.
This unique book shows how, using the formal process of ""dialogue,"" such a place can be built.
In a lively discussion, the author shows managers how to use this technique to encourage truth-telling by reducing fear, prompting self-examination, and opening minds * build trust where suspicion and cynicism held sway * inspire individuals to think and learn as a group * help groups talk through tough issues and move to collaborative action."

About the Author

ANNETTE SIMMONS (Greensboro, NC) is president of Group Process Consulting, a behavioral science firm that specializes in building cooperation within organizations to enhance bottom-line results. 
She is the author of Territorial Games (AMACOM).


Business & Money,Business Culture,Workplace Culture,Human Resources,Human Resources & Personnel Management,Small Business & Entrepreneurship,Entrepreneurship

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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     This is an excellent "how to" book, that deals with a nebulous subject, dialogue.It not only endorses and explains the need for dialogue, but goes way beyond helping middle management and leadership understand the important steps that must be taken if an organization is going to really attempt to change the culture and create a new atmosphere in which dialogue just might happen!enjoy!
  •     It's truly hard to believe that a publisher thought this book wasworth publishing. It's 250 pages with several empty cliches perpage.
  •     What is it about organizations that creates so many secrets? In this bright and enjoyably written book, Annette Simmons reveals the subtle art of allowing people to share the secrets througth dialogue. From identifying the escape routes to explaining the step by step process in which dialogue unfolds she clearly identifies what you can expect if you simply follow the directions. She even includes directions. I immediately used this book in a two day retreat that was astounding in helping a California State Agency work through the change process.
  •     Simmons bring a mixture of disciplines together to offer nuanced understanding of dialogue and work on real world problems in the communities we work in.
  •     Dialogue is a difficult and potentially fear inducing process. The author admits all that and gives the reader the background and a process to facilitate and engage in dialogue. The book is easy-to-read, free of unnecessarily confusing jargon, and full of good illustrative anecedotes. The author recommends some unorthodox facilitative roles based on her experience (some of which I had thought of before I read the book, but was afraid to try out). I found myself jumping from section to section to follow my interest---this was not a linear ead for me. The appendix on how to get dialogue started with a group is also helpful.
  •     The publisher decided to put "Safe Place" back in print. When they took it out of print, copies were selling for ridiculous amounts ($95). So now it is $19.50 and back in print. People use it as a textbook in several org. behavior classes. It is referenced in Ph.D. dissertation. I still facilitate this form of dialogue. I've done it successfully with gay and conservative christians, within the intelligence community (WMD was a communication issue) and with other difficult groups. I wrote to book to describe a process that is reliable, easily duplicated, and adaptable. Key work is adaptable. If you want help designing your own form of dialogue email me. I'm launching a new website so google my name and you will get my latest email address.

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