How do we create value for ourselves and others while at the same time participating in today’s free market economy? How do we produce results while at the same time developing relationships where we take care of each other in the process?
Today, instead of productively and joyfully engaging with broad networks of people, we are increasingly stressed by our working relationships. With networked technology, disconnecting is becoming increasingly more difficult. In order to build productive and trusting relationships, we must learn skills that will enable us to build trust, coordinate our commitments more effectively, listen to each other and build networks of commitments for the sake of producing value for ourselves, for our families, for the organizations in which we participate, for our communities, and for our world as a whole.
The essays in this collection offer a framework for developing more effective, productive relationships in the workplace or in any context where a person must coordinate with others to make something happen. The essays describe how to effectively make commitments that allow us to create something of value. Describing Flores’ network of commitments/conversations for action framework, a framework that has been cited in more than three thousand books, the author paints a vivid view of language as action rather than just words that transfer information from one place (the speaker) to another (the listener). When people engage in conversations, commitments are made, and spaces of possibilities are opened up. Therefore, the theme is of “instilling a culture of commitment” in our working relationships, allowing us to focus on what we are creating of value together rather than the ongoing stress of attempting to calculate tradeoffs of individual interests.
Edited by Maria Flores Letelier, it was Maria’s mission to make available works that had rested as private papers in hard copy form only for twenty to thirty years. She selected and edited a group of essays and placed them in an effective order for the reader.