We all live in two worlds, an inner world and an outer world, and conversations are the main way that you connect your own inner and outer worlds, and connect your worlds to the inner and outer worlds of other people. You open these connections by asking questions and the quality of the connection that you make between your worlds usually depends on the quality of the conversation that you create. By creating a conversation, you give yourself the opportunity to explore the nature of any tensions that you may be experiencing along the boundaries between your inner and outer worlds. When you encounter these boundary tensions during a conversation, it can often seem easier to avoid them but that often results in a loss of connection and, although you may be exchanging words with a potential conversation partner, you are not actually saying anything meaningful to each other,
Actively Creating The Conversation
It can be easy to think that a conversation is just something that happens to you, rather than experiencing it is a connection process that you are actively involved in creating. The reverse is true, however, conversations don’t just happen to you, you happen to the conversation and create everything that you communicate in it, knowingly or unknowingly. The more aware that you make yourself of what you’re actually communicating through your conversation connection, the more skilled you will become creating powerful conversations. And the more skillful that you are in creating powerful conversations, the more likely it is that you will powerfully connect your inner and outer worlds, producing a tangible outcome that reflects the real value of connecting through conversation.
Our word ‘conversation‘ originates from the Latin words ‘con‘, meaning ‘together‘, and ‘verse‘, meaning ‘turning‘. Conversation literally means ‘turning together‘ and so when you create a conversation, you and your conversation partner are creating a dynamic feedforward-feedback loop that turns together, enabling you both to work with the tensions that you may be encountering along the boundaries between your inner and your outer worlds. As you both turn together, you not only give each other the opportunity to understand your respective inner world perspectives, you are also giving yourself the opportunity to view any tensions that you are encountering from a variety of viewpoints. By doing this, you are far more likely to see the bigger picture and understand the wider context, meaning that you are not just turning together but can also turn any difficult situation around.
Discourse, Debate, Dialogue and Discovery
There tend to be four main types of conversations and these are Discourse, Debate, Dialogue and Discovery conversations. It can be easy to think that you are creating a conversation, when in reality, you are just on transmit-only in a discourse conversation, feeding forward without feeding back, and seemingly oblivious to the fact that your conversation partner’s eyes are glazing over. You may also think that you are creating a conversation when you are sure that there can only be one outcome to your conversation and you are constantly feeding your viewpoint back, keeping on debating your point until you win and your conversation partner loses. You may also find yourself creating a dialogue conversation, where you just discuss a topic in theoretical terms, disconnecting yourself from any valuable feedforward or feedback processes. The most powerful conversations are processes of mutual discovery, where you have a definite starting point and are open to seeing what powerful outcome emerges, exists and evolves as you turn together through your conversation.
Meaning To Noise Ratio
A powerful conversation helps you to work with the tensions between your inner and outer worlds so that you can become more aware of how you can take meaningful action and purposefully create value. Many conversations, however, just end up as meaningless exchanges of words because, even though you are using the latest technology with the highest possible bandwidth, the poor meaning-to-noise ratio of your actual conversation means that all that technology is effectively wasted. The noise that can degrade how meaningful your conversation actually is comes from cross-talk, unconfirmed assumptions, misjudged intentions, tangential and ineffective perspectives, superficial chitchat and subject avoidance. The more dynamic that you are in clearly communicating what means most to you, the less likely it is that what you really mean to say will be lost in the static.
Conversations With Self
The conversations that you naturally create are not just the conversations where you are engaging with another person but also the conversations that you have with yourself. These self conversations are also not just musings and mutterings that seem to happen to you. They are an opportunity to connect with an aspect of your self that may have a powerful insight for you and that you need to give voice to. As you connect different aspects of your self in conversation, you often find that these aspects begin to turn dynamically rather than becoming stuck in a confused inner dialogue where you feel conflicted about what you want to do and your motives for doing it. In conversations with self, you often connect to unknown and unfamiliar aspects of your awareness that enable you to powerfully connect your inner and outer worlds and as you do so, your inner and outer worlds begin to turn together in a powerful connection.