24 March 2008

Conversation Week 2008

Conversation Week 2008 is a celebration of the power of conversation to change the world. Hosts will convene face-to-face, small-group conversations with friends, neighbors, and strangers. The goal is to empower people worldwide to convene a meaningful, respectful discussion in their community. For more information on Conversation Week 2008, check out the Conversation Café.

Social networking, such as blogging is one way that keeps conversation flowing in the virtual world. When you get together with friends in real time, what do you talk about? Are you having awesome conscious shifting dialogues, or meaningless chit chat? Are your conversations infused with lots of mind-stretching questions? From the Conversation Café, here are a few of the Top 50 questions that you can use to shoot into your conversations this week:

~What can we do to reduce or eliminate violence in the world?
~How can intangibles like values and beliefs tangibly contribute to solving the problems of our times?
~What have your found works to open another's mind to what you have to say, especially if they think they already know?
~How do we shift from "Me" to "We" on both the local and global levels?
~How can we take responsibility for making a better future without making others wrong?
~What kind of leadership does the world need now?
~How do we create a culture that is inclusive of all people and beliefs?
~What does compassionate living look like to you?
~What do you hold so dear that you would give your life to it?
~How can you, as Gandhi said, be the change that you want to see in the world?
~What helps you have energy and hope in these times?
~What do you most want for our world? What would it take to bring that about?
~When you look back at the end of your life, what legacy would you most love to have left the world?

Just a note: To have a great conversation, you need two critical components: the speaker and the listener. We have had plenty of practice with the speaking part, however the listening part tends to escape us. To listen does not simply mean to just sit quietly until the other person stops talking so that we can have our rebuttal.

Listening is a skill, an art; a lost art. Listening means using not just your ears, but your entire body. It means setting aside your agenda and judgments while the other person is speaking. When you are focused on what you are going to say next, then you are not really listening; you are rehearsing your lines.

Go out and have a conversation, and remember to listen.

Have a purposeful conversation!

No comments: