Conversations, at their best are beautiful things.
They are a dance of possibility as we pass ideas backwards and forwards, help each other shape them, notice things in the space between ideas and create the start of something.
In the search for efficiency however, we appear to have weaponised them. We treat them like processes, looking at value extracted versus time spent. Dialectic. Not a dance, so much as a tennis match, hitting with ever greater force as we look for weakness in our opponent.
There is a place for this. In stable conditions, with known rules, like the Law Courts, or a manufacturing process this type of dialectic is powerful – testing ideas and improving them.
However, in conditions of uncertainty when the reality is that none of us know what’s coming next, it’s dangerous. We create false certainty to bolster our case and make assertions based at best on assumptions, and at worst on manipulation.
Doubt is uncomfortable, but Certainty is absurdVoltaire
It seems right now, we’re having far too many of these ugly conversations. Trading off the balance between saving the hospitality industry against the likelihood of a second wave; trying to restore an economy that was dysfuntional rather than using this shock to shape something new.
We have huge opportunity the other side of the pain that is now inevitable. It could be a great story, but it has to be crafted, not bodged.
To craft it we need to bring to it what makes things beautiful. Grace, Gratitude, Intent, Generosity and Courage.
We do not have time for the destructive power of ugly conversations