Hannah Dickson, Development Manager, SCSN

For a while I’ve been intrigued by the term ‘talking shop’ – for many working in the public sector this means a place or group regarded as a centre for unproductive talk rather than action, with endless pre-meetings, meetings and papers. For others, talking is a key mechanism for understanding and change; indeed there are a range of therapies called ‘talking therapies’ widely used in the field of psychotherapy.   So which is it? Are conversations useful for change? Is there a point at which Good Conversations Go Bad (and morph into the dreaded – whisper it – ‘talking shop’)?

There is a growing understanding of the role that conversation has in change, particularly in complex systems like community safety (and, let’s face it, much of the work of public services).  Last week I went to a couple of fantastic webinars, at first seemingly completely unrelated, but they all had a strong theme of the change that happens during and as a result of conversations.  There is a process of change that happens during some conversations – you can feel it happening in the room and in yourself as people talk, listen, hear, question, understand and share.

Read the blog in full here.