Deepen the Conversation.

January 14, 2021

Deepen the Conversation.

May 29, 2023

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on how to meet more interesting people, I wanted to highlight New York Times columnist David Brooks’ recent article with nine tips for creating deeper conversations. If I didn’t know better, I might have assumed David had spent a week with us at MEA.

Here’s a list of those tips, but I’d suggest you read the article for more details:

  1. Approach with awe.
  2. Ask elevating questions.
  3. Ask open-ended questions.
  4. Make them authors, not witnesses.
  5. Treat attention as all or nothing.
  6. Don’t fear the pause.
  7. Keep the “gem statement” front and center.
  8. Find the disagreement under the disagreement.
  9. Become a conversation midwife.

I wish he’d given proper credit to David Cooperrider and the Appreciative Inquiry method, which is fundamental to our MEA curriculum. The truth is, so much of what’s written in this column comes from those principles. Of course, regardless, I love seeing the mainstreaming of this thinking.

As Cooperrider says, “We live in the worlds our questions create. A question, thoughtfully conceived can illuminate a room, a company, a life.”

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