The importance of conversations is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Good conversations are really important! A good conversation can cut through clutter and confusion, leading to clarity but how often do we really have GOOD conversations? As I see it, conversations can take one of two directions… discussion or dialog. In my experience, one is way more helpful than the other… Dialog!
The idea of dialog is that two or more people actually move THROUGH to a shared outcome, they talk through issues and create new understanding where previously confusion may have reigned supreme. When a discussion takes place, on the other hand, two people simply lob ideas at each other, trying desperately to explain their position on the matter at hand. In a discussion, usually the talker has no interest in learning anything new while in a dialog, new learning is expected. With discussion, the listener is seeking an opportunity to interject his thoughts while in a dialog he seeks to gain new knowledge. Dialog creates, discussion maintains.
I suppose there’s a place and time for discussion, but in my current station and season of life I’m much more interested in dialog. I want to create some new knowledge with friends, not just try to convince people that I am right. So, anyone up for a good conversation? About anything!