When people come together and start a conversation their experience will vary depending on the way people engage in it.
In the simplest type of conversation, people will just hear what is being said. This may for example be perfectly adequate for a short exchange at the gas station where people may have a short chat about the weather when they pay.
A more impactful exchange happens when people exchange facts and other information. This can for example be happening when people seek to learn something or are collecting information to use them in a different context. These are occasions where whatever is being exchanged has the power to transform existing information or ideas.
People who step into an exchange of information can go beyond this by stepping into a real dialogue. That is an exchange where people allow themselves to learn from one another as well as to transform their ideas together.
It is also possible to go a level further and engage in a more in-depth conversation. This is where listening goes beyond the words and where the participants allow themselves to let things emerge.
Whatever the type of conversation people are having, listening is the key to making it a mutual experience.
However, listening isn’t referring to an activity. It is referring to a mindset.
It’s a mindset that makes it natural to ask the kind of questions that allow the other to feel heard. It transforms the conversation from people having a conversation to people experiencing themselves as participants in a conversation.
It changes the situation from people talking at another to people talking with another.
A point of attention here is, that to really know what the above means requires to have experienced it once.