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The art of conversation

Direct, sustained, non-judgmental exchanges without a definitive conclusion...for the sake of exploring, discovering, or creating; enter the conversation.

There is a theme or no theme, we can also stick to a convention of "as long as it's funny" or poetic, anecdotal, professional, aesthetic, whatever we want. That a conversation is enriching is frequent and for this reason it is used in pedagogy. Often a demonstration or a presentation serves as a pretext for the conversation that will follow. One can well guide a conversation but the direction that it will take depends on the participants and their preconceived ideas, if one wants to have a conversation at all.

The atmosphere is set, we play and as long as there is no winner or agreement, we continue to recreate the world, to question it, to enchant it or to darken it, just to see. The conversation continues and everyone feeds it without fear. When the conclusions are reached, the game stops. Either it is restarted on another basis, or we enter into something else: planning, projection, performance, conflict... we then leave the conversation, the tone has changed.

In group or in class, the conditions conducive to conversation remain the same: openness, benevolence and definitive non-judgment; it is a matter of giving each person the space to develop his or her thoughts. We can afford to be demanding about the form, to set rules of the game and to referee so that everyone participates and can get something out of the exchanges, confront their ideas, estimate their scope, develop them, enrich them.

Is the art of conversation being transformed?  Can we have a real conversation on social networks?  Do we converse more or less than before? Differently, surely. Conversing remains essential to our well-being and to breathing ideas.

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

Illustration: DepositPhotos - almatea

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