There are two conversations. The face-to-face external conversations we have with other people. And the silent internal conversations or inner conversations we have with ourselves, in our heads.
Thinking and spoken discourse are the same thing, except that what we call thinking is, precisely, the inward dialogue carried on by the mind with itself without spoken sound.
External conversations are triggered by questions from other people such as “What do you think of this idea?”
While the internal conversations are triggered by questions to yourself such as “That’s curious, I wonder why that happened?”
There is a problem however with the internal conversations that we have in our heads when we try to make sense of something.
- We are full of biases, emotions, and blind-spots.
- We are arrogant; we think we understand far more than we do.
- We have a tendency to blindly accept things we have been taught or are deep in our culture.
The more creative conversations are the ones that we have with each other, where we challenge each other, question each others thinking, point out biases, fill blind spots and thus burst the thought bubbles in which we live.
These small group conversations are not without their biases either, and although impossible to eliminate, if we are aware of them, we can convene our conversations in such a way as to minimize them.
It is through small group conversations that we manage our knowledge.
It takes a diverse group of people with different perspectives to come together in conversation to make sense of the world.
This page is part of an online book on Conversational Leadership that I am in the process of writing.
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