i’m flying to glorietta, new mexico, this afternoon, for the annual emergent gathering. i’ve only been one time before (tried to go a second time two years ago with jeannie, but flights got jacked going through denver, and we never made it). it’s 150 people – nice, small event — in a total do-it-yourself arrangement. anyone interesting in talking about a particular subject? put it on the whiteboard with a time and location, and see who shows up.
i’m also leading a conversation during the middle of the event: we’re bringing together 8 or 10 people to function as an identity and mission task force for the emergent board. i felt we needed some more clarity on why emergent exists, and where we’re headed. i’m a bit nervous about leading this group for a couple reasons: first, the approach i’m using is a bit out of my comfort zone; and, second, the people attending are a group of brilliant and passionate (and opinionated) people who do not suffer fools (a.k.a: me) easily.
there will be lots of my friends at this event, and i know it will be soul-nourishing for me in many ways. i fly home early friday morning (but i have posts set to go live each day).
here’s a quote i read on a blog yesterday that felt appropriate for this week:
The purpose of conversation is to create and improve understanding, not for one party to “deliver messages” to the other.
There is no “audience” in a conversation. If we must label others in conversation, let’s call them partners.
People in productive conversation don’t repeat what they’re saying over and over. They learn from each other and move topics forward.
Conversations are about talking, not announcing. They’re about listening, not surveying. They’re about paying attention, not getting attention. They’re about talking, not announcing [sic]. “Driving” is for cars and cattle, not conversation.
(by Peter Hirshberg, Technorati, and Steve Hayden, Ogilvy. ht to bob carlton, via email)