"My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company." ~Jane Austen
Conversations are essential for growth to occur.
Whether they take place through a means of collaboration, discussions with individuals, or self-reflective processes, conversations offer opportunities to discover new ideas and perspectives. They also open doors to deeper understanding of concepts. Each allow for moments of self-discovery and trajectories of forward movement.
Taking every opportunity to engage in frequent conversations is a quality of a life-long learner. Those who seek deeper understanding and a variety of perspectives gain a wider lens in which to view a situation or accomplish a goal. They also provide themselves with the possibility of exponential growth.
One must be an integral part of the conversation, though, to reap benefits. Bystanders profit minimally and offer very little to other participants. Every member present should encourage the equal participation of all, as true learning will occur from valuing all perspectives.
Choosing to participate whole-heartedly in discussions breaks down barriers and clears up misconceptions. Assumptions are limited when all perspectives are shared, questions are asked and answered, and open-minds are present. Individuals should provide evidence to support their stance, but also listen intently to other viewpoints. Progress toward goals can only be achieved when all perspectives are considered.
It does take courage and trust for authentic conversations to occur. Counting on one another to bring experiences, knowledge, and resources to the table is a first step. Dialogue can then move forward efficiently when common goals are understood. Participating with positive energy keeps a conversation in motion. Considering various standpoints, while valuing evidence, builds momentum. Demonstration of appreciation is necessary to keep people energetic and committed to conversations. Finally, identifying solutions/progress regarding goals strengthens future conversations and collaborative relationships.
It takes the minds of many to make amazing things occur. Change is not an individual process, but rather a collegial effort to make things happen. The support of one another causes dynamic shifts when we align our practice, share our knowledge, and create common goals. Let the conversations begin.