The Art Of Deep Communication
To discuss anything beyond the surface with another person is not easy.
It takes time and deep attention.
It requires integrity, clear intention and honest effort.
Being able to get into real depth is an art form in itself.
To even cover just the full surface of an idea takes much work.
I would say it should take at least 8 hours of open conversation
to begin going beyond the surface of a topic.
Of course I pulled that number completely out of the air,
but I use it to make the point that a few posts on Facebook
or even an hour or two of conversation
cannot really be enough to get beyond the surface.
The Elements Of Mutual And Accurate Understanding
There are many elements necessary.
First we must truly understand what we ourselves are talking about.
Self-knowledge is primary.
Do you know what you believe?
What you think?
Why you believe and think these things?
And what holes or weaknesses are present in your understanding?
Understand the Other
Next we must understand what the other persons points are,
what their perspective is,
what their history is related to the subject at hand…
Some deep listening is required.
Listening without judgement or defensiveness.
Listening without working on your rebuttal at the same time.
For if you are thinking of your response you’re not fully listening.
There will be time for responding after you understand.
It’s worthwhile taking the time to reflect back the other person’s perspective
So they know that you’ve heard and understood them.
This also gives them the opportunity to correct any misinterpretation you may have.
Then we must be sure the other party understands us in the same way.
Much Self-Awareness Is Needed
Looking at communication this way it seems that just to establish the surface,
long before going beyond the surface,
would take a lot of deep listening, expressing, clarifying and investigating.
It is not easy to be willing to go to that length in investigating an idea.
It requires much self-awareness,
The ability to listen to another
and the ability to express yourself very well.
The Joy and Exhilaration of Profound Communication
The exhilaration that comes from a deep understanding of an issue
through fearless and penetrating discussion is quite satisfying.
Arguing becomes unnecessary.
Agreement becomes beside the point.
Being right becomes irrelevant.
Finding the truth becomes the point
(or at least the closest approximation of the truth
we are able reach at our present level of development)
and this is quite satisfying.