conversation is an engine

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There’s Something About Out

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Out Always Informs In

07022013-MV5BMTI1MjI4OTA3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjUwODI5._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_Chance tended the garden of a wealthy old man in Washington D.C. and had done so all his life. When his wealthy employer died, Chance was turned out into the [mean] streets. All Chance knew was the calm of the mansion and all he knew about the world outside was what he saw on TV. And so began Being There, one of the last films made with Peter Sellers way back in 1979. You might call Being There a dark comedy and it was certainly not for every audience.

The scene playing in my mind today is Chance stepping away from the calm of the mansion and out into the urban chaos, complete with garbage everywhere, burning cars and a host of other stereotypes. The movie is all about how he is received by those he encountered.

In a sense Chance came alive as he left the stately known environment. This fits with what I’m coming to understand about taking what I know out to others who don’t know it. Whether it is what I know about medical devices or carbon fiber or my theological and faith commitments or what I know about bicycle routes in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Whatever I know, whatever is familiar to me changes in perspective the moment I try to explain it to someone else. Maybe I succeed in convincing my biking friend to take the river route I like. Maybe I fail to get my reading friend to take interest in the book I liked. Maybe I’m helping my client explain  a unique heart monitoring system to an audience of physicians. Whatever it is—and in every case—how I explain myself to those outside changes the way I look at the priority. I immediately learn something new as I try to explain. And the organization changes as the communication happens: as we form words together to explain out product to an outsider, we on the inside understand something different as well.

And it’s not just what I know, it’s what is important to me. And maybe this is the heart of the learning: can this thing be important for someone else? And if so why or why not? And all this communication changes us.

My only point is that we need to actively take our priorities and knowledge with us out into the relationships we feed throughout every day. That’s how we grow.


Written by kirkistan

July 2, 2013 at 9:47 am

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  1. […] few days back I posted There’s Something About Out (Out Always Informs In) and noticed a slight uptick in hits. My theory: the uptick had to do with the word “out” in […]

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