Episode #1: Can Conversation Change The World?
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Collective Wisdom Through Conversation
A Word from Turtle Talks Creator, Monica Laurence
Conversation. Simple and powerful. People coming together in twos, threes, and inviting more, gathering around tables, in communities, over meals, while playing sport. Such dialogue knits the fabric of life and it is in dialogue that we shape our worlds.
Every evening on Turtle Island Fiji, guests gather around a communal table, just like a family, just like my family. As we join together in conversation and break bread, something magical takes place. Strangers discover each other as we swap stories of our life paths, of our disappointments and our triumphs that have shaped us. As we come to a conversation with humility and curiosity, we share perspectives and learn from one another. We grow. As Emilee Pierce so aptly observes in this episode, “I really see conversations as a ripple effect. In the process of conversing with someone you may get a different perspective on a shared experience that can change the way you think about your approach to something.”
Around a table, as we share the adventures of the day, laughter rings out, relationships are built, and understanding unfolds. These shared moments establish a foundation of trust, and our desire to support one another blossoms. As we talk, we find mutual opportunities to take action, and incredible things are set in motion for global good.
Of course, to achieve such a significant outcome, we must show up as deeply human. With honor and respect, we have the ability to listen to each other, and for extra measure we listen again. We consider. We reflect. In such a supportive environment, conflict becomes an opportunity and diversity an asset. We find ourselves appreciating our various specialties and expertises, different as they may be. We become excited that a combined perspective can ignite new insights which can shift existing paradigms. And as we stay, as we linger around that table together, we come to appreciate that we are interdependent. And rather than limit us, that interdependence becomes our greatest strength.
I believe the universe is a place of abundance, if we only learn to tap into it. Collective wisdom emerges through constructive conversation. The secrets to meaningful dialogue, I believe, can be found in four simple (yet challenging) tenets of Toltec tradition offered by don Miguel Ruiz:
- Speak truth. Speak from the heart, with compassion and thoughtfulness.
- Don’t take anything personally. What others do is a reflection of their own feelings, and not you. If we take things personally, we stifle the conversation. Instead, endeavor to remain open and thus facilitate a fluid exchange.
- Don’t make assumptions. Trust that people generally act with good intentions, even if that’s not obvious in an outcome. Stay engaged and remain inquisitive.
- Always do your best. When you catch yourself in unproductive patterns, breathe and course correct. In each moment, simply do your best to show up as the best version of you.
Our words and imagination have power. And together, we can make a difference.
About Monica Laurence: “Turtle Talks” is the brainchild of Monica Laurence. Forever touched by the Fijian people and breathtaking islands, she created “Turtle Talks” to harness the spirit of Fiji and share it with the rest of the world. Monica is a repeat CEO, VP Marketing, and Advisory Board member with 20 years of experience leading Internet, social mobile, hospitality, gaming, and entertainment ventures. Monica is passionate about creating brand experiences and narratives that reflect the essence of people and place, crafting a larger conversation for good inspired by beauty and potential. She believes that every individual, organization and place has a purpose and unique contribution to make, and framed well, their stories can inspire each of us to rise to our fullest potential.