Thanks, Jenny, Edith and of course, Cliff.
I so appreciate your comments.
I've had few brief conversations in life, so I wasn't too surprised that the lunch conversation Cliff and I had turned into a 2 hour visit...
Although long, it was also one of the most encouraging and mutually rewarding of conversations I can recall, and I am happy to know that some members find it worth their listening time.
I don't want to take too much time or space here, but I'll share a little more about the idea of Common Conversations, for anyone interested in the idea:
Our lunch conversation became what I hope is the first of many Common Conversations in which those of us interested in changing the world by changing the default conversations can engage each other in conversations that matter. By conversations that matter, I am suggesting that they are those that have power to create an alternative future because:
- They are convened with invitation and interest instead of persuasion and agenda.
- They are more focused on a discovery of what we have in common than on what we assume to be different.
- They are based on a belief that questions have more power than answers.
- They operate on the belief that we are creating the future with every conversation, so by changing our conversations, we change our world.
- They make space for the expression of doubts and dissent without loss of "voice" or respect, knowing that if my "no" is not welcome in a conversation, then my "yes" will have little meaning.
- They are committed to substituting curiosity for advice.
- They focus on gifts and possibilities instead of on deficiencies and problem solving.
Most of these points are learned from the work of Peter Block and A Small Group, and are paraphrases of some of the core ideas of the Six Conversations (links below).
Cliff's story of his friendship with Chef Mark is a wonderful example of what is possible whenever we're engaging our lives with curiosity, willingness and invitation.
I am grateful to Cliff not only for his willingness to participate in, record and post our long lunch conversation, but also for his leadership, generosity and tremendous talent that has helped birth this thriving new tribe of podcast enthusiasts and new media friends. The passion and engagement Cliff and Stephanie bring to their work and calling could easily be a case study from Seth Godin's new book, Tribes, and I have been repeatedly inspired by what I find at GSPN.
Thank you, again, for your comments, and for welcoming me to this forum.
P.S. Here are some links to more information about Peter Block, The Six Conversations and an open invitation to have more "Common Conversations":