Turning to Conversation

“I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again…Simple, truthful conversation where we each have a chance to speak, we each feel heard, and we each listen well.”

-Margaret Wheatley

Teaching requires reflective conversation–before, during, and after. In this short blog post, I’d like to share a few quotes from Margaret Wheatley on the power of turning to one another in simple, honest conversation. I think these insights can have profound impact for anyone who works in a collaborative space, from teachers who plan and reflect together, to educators who work with children, to colleagues who rely on creativity and insight to work on joint projects. As we think about education as a humanizing experience, I think we’ll find many ways to reflect on Margaret’s challenges:

“I hope you’ll begin a conversation, listening for what’s new. Listen as best you can for what’s different, for what surprises you. See if this practice helps you learn something new. Notice whether you develop a better relationship with the person you’re talking with. If you try this with several people, you might find yourself laughing in delight as you realize how many unique ways there are to be human.

We have the opportunity many times a day, everyday, to be the one who listens to others, curious rather than certain. But the greatest benefit of all is that listening moves us closer. When we listen with less judgment, we always develop better relationships with each other. It’s not differences that divide us. It’s our judgments about each other that do. Curiosity and good listening bring us back together.”

In what ways have you found curiosity and good listening to be practices that bring people together? How have you experienced these in your work, education, and beyond?

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