Two monologues don’t make a dialogue
How often do you take part in a meeting or conversation where consciously, or unconsciously, you are trying to win the debate? We’ve all done it. I certainly have.
How often when you open your mouth, does the sentence start “Yes, but…”?
Have you ever sat in a meeting when one person makes a point and the moment they have finished speaking, someone else makes a completely separate seemingly unconnected point?
It seems we have become conditioned not to listen.
Conditioned not to have expansive, generative discussions.
Of course there is no time for discourse. No time to explore each others perspectives – to stand in each others shoes. No time to explore possibilities. No time to truly collaborate. No time to understand and build on ideas. No time to understand each other. No time to understand ourselves.
What’s important to us that makes us behave that way? Interrupting, winning, being heard, being right, being valued, in a hurry, showing courage… ?
Of course, we’re busy people. Decisions have to be taken. Actions have to be delivered.
I’m here to influence you to my way of thinking and if I can’t win the debate I can always go and ignore what we have ‘agreed’ and do what I want anyway. That is the route of dual monologue.
Dialogue offers another way.
Generative conversation offers another way.
But it involves spending time understanding each others needs; understanding what we both care about, what matters, what has meaning and significance for both of us. It involves us understanding ourselves. Our own hidden motivations. The feelings and thoughts that create the behaviour.
Otherwise we go in blind.