Continuing with thinking about the work of Mark Gregston, today I want to discuss the idea of "Looking for opportunities for discussion" with your partner.
We are quick, in the lifestyle, to exhort each other to "talk" with our partners. We pride ourselves on being more open, more honest, more transparent. We learn skills that help us to negotiate; to state our needs; to define our limits. We make checklists and contracts and mantras. Oh yes... we are big on talking, and we create relationships that are awash in words.
So, what would be different if we looked for opportunities for discussion?
Discussion is more than talking. It is inquiry and examination. While talk is about conveying information, discussion goes further, looking to explore, examine and discover things that might not be contained on the surface of our words. The word comes from Latin, and the stem, discussio, means "a shaking." Literally, to discuss is to "strike asunder," or "break up," from dis- "apart" + quatere "to shake." While the usual meaning of the word is to "talk over" or "debate," the early sense seems to have evolved from "smash apart," "scatter," and "disperse." So, when we discuss, we break things down; we shake up our assumptions; we smash through our biases and preconceived ideas. We inquire and examine. We talk things over, and we debate.
In discussion, we'd ask questions of our partners, and keep digging -- searching with them for answers and ideas that might be beyond what we anticipate and expect:
What is important to you?
Why do you feel that way about _____________________________?
Where did you learn about?
What would you do about this problem or that challenge?
Where would you go?
Explain that to me...
Our discussions, whatever the subject matter, might well be the pathway into journeys of the mind. Together with our partners, we could find ourselves amazed at the places we might go together.