"The conversation is
basic or essential process that has always cohesive humans." Peter Senge
One of the paradoxes that we live in today is
that, in the "communication age", there is a strong sense of isolation. Advances
in technology (Internet, fax, cell phones, video conferencing, etc..) Reduce
distances, reduce times, but have failed to reduce loneliness, lack of mutual
understanding, have facilitated solving the problems we have to communicate with
"All human life is
happening in conversations and in that space where you create the reality we
By focusing on communication as transmission of
information, we see the human side of it. That is why we speak of
"Conversations" as a way to distinguish the human capacity for language use. It
is through conversations (internal and public) that coordinate human action,
reflection, we express ourselves, we make sense of the event and our doing, we
relate to each other.
"In the talk we
construct our reality with the other. It is not an abstract thing. The
converse is a particular way of living together in coordination and the
thrill of doing. So the talk is a builder of realities."
The quality of
conversations we determine the quality of our
relationships. For example, many of our relational
problems arise when pressed the other to do, or should
have done, something that does or did (or should not
have done something that he did). Judge (in our internal
conversation) the act of another based on our beliefs,
our expectations, our desires. Of course, the other do
what they do based on their own beliefs, desires, needs.
From there arise three basic possibilities in language:
- No talk: Perhaps out of fear, shame,
resignation or resentment, we say nothing. We were in
our internal conversation where the other person
probably does not even know what is happening. All in
the level of "inner world" where nothing happens in the
story link. The relationship ends up being more and more
distant, ineffective, with discomfort.
- Talk inefficiently: We talk about attacking,
since the imposition, casting blame, punishing,
criticizing, seeking to be right, complaining. No
communication but "issuing statements". The relationship
ends in a fight, in the mutual destruction, with winners
- Talk effectively: We speak from what we feel,
want and need (and we care for us). With due regard to
the other as a legitimate other (so take care to
another). We care to listen. We accept that, as human
beings make mistakes. We apologize, we call in case of
an unfulfilled commitment. Important the relationship
and do what we want to do together. Thus, the link is
strengthened and deepened, and the common-ic-ation
promotes joint action.
I speak because I know my needs,
I doubt because I know yours.
My words come from my life experience.
Your understanding comes from yours.
So what I say and what you hear,
may not be the same.
So if you listen carefully,
not just with your ears but also with your eyes and your heart,
reported achievements might.
I began to realize that in everyday life spent
much time talking. At first I thought this conversation as an obstacle to the
'real' work. I thought the real work was to calculate, organize, schedule ...
Then I realized that this conversation was work and that these discussions had
consequences. At that time there was the notion of language as invention and
constitution of reality, what I call ontological role of language came after.
The leader in promoting talks
Only a few generations ago, as people got older they did with the idea that
personal maturity was closely related to the development of skills in "the art
of conversation." Although not so long ago, now seems very distant. It was a
time when the pace of life was different. It was an era in which to finish the
work day, people were sitting and talking. When the oral tradition was alive and
the story of old stories had disappeared from daily life. It was also a time
when life and relationships are still revolved around connections with each
other, simple and full of meaning.
Of course, these simple practices are very ancient. Few seem to be so close to
the heart of human communities and to speak and tell the old stories. There is
no known indigenous culture that does not engage in conversation sitting in a
circle. It seems to be one of the few truly universal practice of mankind.
The very word etymology dialogue and invite us to explore this ancient
knowledge. The ancient Greeks were perhaps the last Western culture preserved
this idea after the agricultural revolution, the emergence of city-states and
modern forms of organization of society. For the Greeks, the "dia-logos",
meaning flow, was the cornerstone of civil practice, inseparable from
self-government. The polis, or the place where they met to govern, the root of
our current policy was not just a physical space designated, and provide
conversational space for genuine self-government. The ability to converse, to
talk together, formed the basis of democracy, much more important than voting.
Carlos Herreros de las Cuevas