From One-Way to Two-Way Dialogue
Two-way dialogue is the future.
But in the meantime, have you ever found yourself listening to a monologue when you expected to have a conversation? And I don’t mean listening to an inspirational speaker our company hired to talk at us.
It happens all the time when we gather. We share stories and sometimes one person can talk at us for twenty minutes without even taking a breath.
In the current world, we are in situations every day with someone thinking we are their audience. And wanting to make points as though there is a competition or a goal for who wins and loses at conversations.
But in the new world, we bring our whole selves to every conversation at all times. And two-way dialogue is about listening and hearing each other in pure and authentic ways. When we can see a conversation as a way to create something meaningful with another human being, we become far more intentional and understand that communication is two-way.
A New World of Two-Way Conversations
The world we are creating requires us to be open to experimentation in every aspect of our lives. What this means is that we need to have an ability to have open conversations and dialogue.
And like in a community, in true conversations, we don’t have an audience. Because we are not pitching or on the receiving end of diatribe. There are no monologues in a dialogue or a real conversation either.
When we are having authentic conversations, no one needs to make a point or apologize. We actually complete each others thoughts sometimes. And we don’t need to cut anyone off or use gimmicks like reflective listening to ensure understanding.
When we are open with ourselves and each other, we are no longer judging the conversation. Why? Because there is no need to judge when we are focused on creating meaning. We consciously know that we are not being attacked and don’t need to defend our position.
Healthy Two-Way Dialogue
When have you beed truly connected in a two-way dialogue? And it doesn’t mean that it’s all about rainbows and unicorns.
Healthy conversations allow us to tap into our emotions and we can express all feelings. It’s really up to us to understand that sometimes things do get messy and maybe we’re even a bit incoherent. But together, we can build and create possibilities.
There are no guidelines, formulas or manual on how to have conversations that matter. Our hearts sense when we really connect. Our curiosity and imagination expand.
This is how we learn and grow with each other on how to be open and truly honest. But we need to have a willingness to experiment and release the concept of an audience or the need to win at everything.
With over eight billion people win the planet, we have abundant opportunities to explore and experiment with relationships.
What if we invested our energy into conversations that light us up—where we are being seen, accepted as we are, challenged and at the same time, respected.
When we are with people who accept us for who we are, we create and transform together. Two-way dialogue is becoming a foundational element for trusted relationships, where we can call each other on everything. No holds bar when it comes to honesty and being able to share ourselves.
For the past four days, I have been having many conversations with incredible people who are curious and open. We even laughed that the only tenet we followed was don’t be an asshole. And it’s ok if you are one because we will call each other on it and get to the root cause.
True two-way dialogue is not about delivering a message or keeping score. There is no them or us. No division.
Dialogue is all about our ability to be open to expressing ourselves with the hope of creating something we care about.