Stephe Faust, M.Ed, CKM
IT Director, Multi-Pack Solutions, Greenville SC
WHAT’S THIS BLOG ABOUT?
Imagine working on a puzzle with a group of family members or friends. We empty the contents of the box, and begin working with the pieces in front of us. At first, everything seems fine, but soon we fall into our regular patterns. One person works feverishly on a favorite section, not accepting any help or suggestions. Another is hoarding critical pieces of the puzzle in what appears to be some sort of power play. Another tries desperately to keep order, but no one pays attention. Yet another sits silently, deferring to the chaos.
Now imagine that “puzzle” is a work project, and the same scenario plays out. Again, we fall into our regular patterns. We talk without listening. We hoard information and guard our privileged knowledge— or only share what we think will make us stand out. We allow chaos and fear to silence our curiosity.
Instead of working effectively as a team, our habits, assumptions, and lack of trust often hinder our progress. There must be a better way!
WHAT IS DIALOGUE?
Dialogue is a conversational process of exploring shared meaning through reflection and collective inquiry. It involves questioning our assumptions and listening to alternate points of view. It suspends judgment in its thirst for understanding, yet doesn’t compromise values. Dialogue exercises ideas… which, in turn, inspires innovation.
My hope is that this blog will inspire some dialogue; that we will share in some thoughtful conversation… as we strive to seek and speak the truth with humility and grace.
WHO AM I… AND HOW DID I GET HERE?
We often answer the question of “Who am I?” with “What do I do for living?” What I do doesn’t define who I am— but who I am defines my choices and how I live. Hopefully I’ve expressed myself well in the paths I’ve chosen, so I’ll try to provide some context in my story.
I’m a Christian, husband, father, grandfather, and one of ten siblings. I have a passion for helping others learn and for solving word and logic puzzles. This passion has guided my career choices.
I served in the military as a crypto-linguist and instructor. I loved the puzzle-solving aspect of my work. I’ve always enjoyed increasing my knowledge, but it was in the military that I first learned the value of sharing knowledge. The military also taught me to treasure and defend core values.
When I left the military, I took that passion for sharing knowledge and pursued a Master’s degree in adult education with an emphasis in workplace training. This is when I developed a true desire for lifelong learning.
After earning my M.Ed., I went to work at an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software company to develop a training department. Over the course of time, I headed the training, tech support, and development departments. Here I was able to use my passion for helping others learn and picked up an interest in coding and report writing.
In January 2001, I founded begin2know out of my interest in knowledge management— both personal and corporate. I developed a particular interest in dialogue and navigating uncomfortable conversations. My consulting was a combination of workplace coaching (consisting of dialogue sessions that I called learning cafés), mediation, software and life-skills training, and custom report writing.
After 7 ½ years of consulting, I took a full-time position with one of my clients and have been here ever since. My passion for knowledge sharing and solving puzzles has served me well in database management, custom coding, and report writing. The ongoing challenge is to make the best information accessible where and when it’s needed for actionable results.
That brings me to now. This blog is an exercise in conversation. An exercise in curiosity. A desire for innovation and continuous improvement. To seek and speak the truth with humility and grace. Let’s begin to know…