What is conversation really about?

So much of our conversation is about what we advocate to each other. We speak, they speak. Our turn to say something, their turn to say something.

It is usually transactional. Like a game of tennis, we take turns. Often someone wins the point. Sometimes the rallies are long and we tire ourselves out!

Our standpoint, their standpoint.

We deliver our view, then they respond with their own delivery of their point.

Is this conversation? At a certain level, perhaps yes.

Yet, could conversation be richer than that – less tiring and more energising?

I believe it can. That happens when we listen more, when we pause more, when we ask more questions of each other. Instead of advocacy, there can be inquiry.

We find what we want to say more through listening to another person than seeking that answer only inside ourselves.

The other person doesn’t only trigger what we say, they inspire it, they guide, it, they influence it.

What we ask others is an invitation for them to help us ask even more. We don’t only seek responses and answers, but further questions to help us with our thinking and our understanding.

Conversation tends to slow, and we allow in more silence, more pausing for thinking.

Our thinking deepens and we begin to find our answers, not through we alone, but through the other person.

Conversation becomes shared and we become more than two separate people planning verbal tennis. We become two separate people but also a shared conversation. Then the conversation deepens and becomes richer.

And often wisdom emerges, not just intellectual cleverness.

Then, when we do advocate, we find our thinking is more living, arising from within and from without.

That might just be real conversation. What do you think?