Intentional Conversation



It can feel difficult to communicate.

I find that the problem isn't always with bad or difficult people. Sometimes, the problems have to do with our conversation framework - the norms and expectations around the convo.


Often on TV, online and in person ... our convos are set up to be "zero sum game" contests. Participants come in with firmly held positions, where the objective is to skillfully reject challenging views from others.

Eventually tempers flare, or an offense is made, then everyone agrees to stop.

To make matters worse, participants and onlookers learn to communicate less often, going forward.

I think that scenario sucks.

I think it's possible - when dealing with issues that we deem important - to approach those convos with intention.


INTENTIONAL CONVERSATION requires that participants do the following ...

  1. Acknowledge that the full truth of a matter is often deeply complex.

  2. Understand that an honest perspective is valid - even if flawed or incomplete.

  3. Allow space for convo partners, including oneself, to learn and be improved over the course of the discussion.

Boom. Das it.


We know that through an honest and quality exchange of perspective/ideas, we can improve our grasp of complex realities. The aim is for participants to contribute their honest perspective - disagreeing when necessary, but also collaborating - to build a stronger, fuller understanding about the topic. Better solutions only develop from better, honest understanding.


BENEFITS of the "Intentional Convo" Framework

  • Participants are encouraged to speak and share with honesty.

  • Participants have space to be wrong, to adjust, & to grow.

  • Builds humility, empathy, & community.

  • Encourages - rather than discourages - further conversation on difficult topics.

FLAWS with the "Intentional Convo" Framework

  • A dishonest participant can cause confusion, and ruin the potential for understanding.

  • An inflexible participant can fail to acknowledge the honest perspectives of others, ruining the potential for understanding.

I don't think these ideas are super new.

Just repackaging them here, with a 3D candlestick. :)


Thoughts? ...

-Billy


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