I’m just going to put it out there, I honestly feel that corporate interactions are a great place to have deep meaningful conversations.

Now before you pull out the jack knives and start blasting me out for being the devil’s advocate defending the big bad wolf that is capitalism and the corporate structure. Hear me out!

When we look at any interaction, what really constitutes a meaningful interaction? I would say a constructive and edifying dialogue that explores the complexity and depth of thought. You may define it differently but I think we can all agree, that at the crux of a meaningful and deep interaction is the feeling of being true to your real self and a sense of growth and betterment that stemmed from the conversation, leaving you better off than when you hadn’t had the conversation.

There can be a lot of factors that may influence such a dialogue but a key element for such an interaction to take place, would be to have a supportive environment that fosters effective communication. Both the parties in the conversation must be completely involved and actively listening and processing each exchange for the dialogue to remain fruitful. I say that the interactions in corporate spaces offers all of this and more, sans the banes of personal idiosyncrasies that happen to creep into conversations.

When one is in a corporate environment, the rules of any interaction with another human being, irrespective of the positions they hold, are straight-forward and clearly laid out. This gives a form of structure and ground rules on which to base the interaction on. One may argue that these ground rules may be quite arbitrary and heavily depending on the culture and goals of the company that one works in, but think about this. In a corporate structure, everybody is part of an intrinsic framework that has a binary system of reward and punish. The general sentiment being, respectful constructive interactions are fostered and sought out for and are subsequently rewarded with appropriate merits and accolades, while disrespectful and detrimental debates are frowned upon and consequently lead to appropriate counter actions to prevent such mis-happenings in the future. While, the reality may not paint such a halcyon binary picture, and such things are in actuality, at best shades of gray, we can still safely assume that this is the general sentiment that most successful corporates operate upon.

Drawing from personal experience, I used to work as a Technical Consulting Engineer at Cisco (TAC). A large part of my job entailed interacting with end customers and figuring out ways to troubleshoot a problem that they may be facing. Oftentimes the customers that reach out to Cisco TAC, do so as a last resort to save their networks’ operations. There is often, huge user impact and production value at stake and the customers are understandably quite irate at their predicament. Now at a first glance, I’m sure nobody in their right minds would want to be at the receiving end of an irritated customer who’s raging at the unfortunate sequence of events that led to their network being down thereby causing them sizeable damages. True. It is likely to be a not-so-pleasant conversation, and I whole-heartedly agree with you. I don’t want to be shouted at for something going wrong, for which I had little to do with either. However, here’s a different way of thinking about this.