The Value of Conversation

The value of conversation

I'm a big long-term fan of conversation technology. It's built for the transfer of value between people. We used to have rich inter-blog conversations in the early days. Tim Kastelle is on point when he says that we're made by each other.

Ancient civilizations understood the proper role of conversation in human development. Now we obsess over code for development… the Greeks, inventors of mathematics and a rich body of philosophy, understood that it's other people who give us an identity.

Hence why they put the city or community at the center of human activities. City-states where a focus in Italy for the centuries that preceded the Renaissance, a period of incredible invention and innovation in several bodies of knowledge that has no equal to this day in the Western world.

Kastelle says:

The only way we can make ourselves is through making each other. And we always have a choice in how we make others. Do we do it using generative, both/and, mutually thriving stories, thoughts, and language, or do we do it using narcissistic, better-than, zero-sum ideas? The choices we make for how we make others drives who “we” are.

Entire civilizations were built on this solid foundation. Conversation is a human technology that was made for the transfer of value from person to person. Through the exchange of ideas, stories, and tales of accomplishments, we have the objective ability to influence and affect change.

The other important thought is that of protocols—those that make us and those we make. It's two-ways, as in culture that forms us and we form with our work. Take for example what you choose to do with your time. What could those protocols be?

  • Who to talk with – consider “stakeholders” rather than the path of least resistance that calls them “audiences” or “readers”
  • Who talks to stakeholders – think how going from “person selling something” to “person seeking to understand”
  • What we talk about – imagine how a shift from “pitching our ideas” to “learning about the needs and desires of stakeholders” could enrich what we learn
  • Where great ideas come from – could it be the energy you tap into when you have a transfer of value with “stakeholders,” rather than just “our team” and “the research literature”?

This is how you use conversation as a tool to affect change and the most value for everyone. Culture is awash with energy ready for the picking… yet, by and large we overlook this wealth. Could it be because it comes dressed as work? To me, this is the true definition of being hands-onbeing willing to do the work that activates and transfers value.

[I shared this a couple of weeks ago. A memento from 100+ conversations we had about the transfer of value. How? Businesses, partnerships, careers, and even two romantic relationships had their start from them… and are still going strong.]


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