Practicing the Art of Curiosity and Conversations

I set a personal goal to have six conversations.

It was in response to the national goal of my climate science group to collectively have 25,000 conversations about climate in the month of April.

I decided to start with an easy one: my husband Jeff. We’re basically on the same page anyway about climate. We may not agree on some of the statistics, but we both agree on the need to care for the planet we’re living on.

But as the conversation progressed, something went wrong. Instead of a conversation of curiosity and camaraderie, it grew into an argument. I became frustrated that he couldn’t understand my points, and he was irritated that I assumed I was right about it all.

It was a lesson for me. Not on how to have a healthy climate conversation. But how NOT to have one. (I quickly realized I should have first watched the recommended video about having the conversations.)

With Jeff, I had been curious enough to initiate the conversation, but not curious enough to be a good listening partner.

The next day, I asked Jeff if I could try again with him. He gently suggested maybe I should ask someone else instead? Touché.

We both found his response quite humorous and had a great laugh about it.

And we did have the conversation about climate science. This time it went beautifully.

I didn’t meet my conversation goal that month. I only had five conversations about climate instead of six. But I am meeting my goal (so far) this year to write a poem each month using my One Word of the Year, Curiosity.

Here is an acrostic I wrote, prompted by curious conversations I’ve been having this year—some hard and some easy.

PRACTICING THE ART OF CURIOSITY AND CONVERSATIONS

Conversations are richer when you remain curious.

Uncertain of answers, you ask deeper questions.

Relationships swell as thoughts rise higher.

Inquisitive souls breed compassion and grace,

Offers of unfolding mysteries bubbling up.

Slow down enough to accept one or two.

Intentions to attend and consider are rewarded,

Teaching you lessons never imagined.

Yonder in time you’ll need the wisdom they birth today.


Share in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Practicing the Art of Curiosity and Conversations

  1. Jean Wise

    love your poem a month practice. I know this practice is enriching me too. Your routine of numbering conversations about the climate is challenging and full of lessons. wow. As an introvert – if I remember right you are too – that stretches you too. and to hold conversation about something potentially controversial. wow. that scares me a bit but then I realize that is where the growth is, right? I need to pray about this, Lisa. wow. you are onto something here. very cool

  2. Martha Orlando

    What a great idea to take your word for the year and create an acrostic poem, Lisa! I’m going to have to borrow that one from you, my friend.
    Keep the healthy conversations going!

  3. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Wonderful, Lisa, AS USUAL!!! I think that this lesson about listening (and that is really being curious enough to stay quiet to see what others might offer), applies to so many topics in life. We’d be far better off if we chose to care enough about others to be curious to know what they think and why, and to listen to what they say without interruption or jumping to conclusions. I’m not saying that is what you and Jeff were doing, but merely stretching out the application.

    AND I LOVE THE POEM, which my journaling teacher/mentor calls Alpha Poems, because originally the form employed the entire alphabet as the acrostic. I just completed one for my retiring OB/GYN using her name, titles, etc in the acrostic. The beauty about these is that they are insightful and intuitive and cause you to probe your thinking, often employing words and concepts you would not customarily, and all because you are letting the words in the acrostic lead. Not everyone, but most people find the form facilitates their writing a completed poem fairly quickly when otherwise their page would remain blank.

    So well done!
    xo
    Lynn

  4. Lydia C. Lee

    It is a very worthy goal. And I think you hit upon something interesting. We had freinds over and they asked if I’d seen a play (which I’d loved and they’d hated). At one point she said “It’s so good we’re able to argue this. We seem to have lost the ability for rigorous arguement”. I pointed out a play was non emotional – and I probably wouldn’t listen to someone argue homophobic attitudes. She then told a story where a friend of hers had argued with her over our recent referendum (on Indigenous reecognitiion) and left the table refusing to talk to her, and how as kids he family would regularly argue politics with friends, but somehow now things had changed….so learning how to have the conversations again is important (and I am one who is not so willing to budge or even listen to certain opinions so not criticising you, but maybe me…) Good post #WeekendCoffeeShare

  5. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, I love that you didn’t give up on having that conversation with Jeff. And that you both were able to laugh about it the second time. 🙂 I’m also impressed that you are writing a poem about your word each month! I haven’t written anything about mine for a long time, but this last month I have definitely seen some clues about why “now” is my word for this year. (Perhaps it’s time for a blog post about that …)

  6. Bev Baird

    Love your poem Lisa. Expresses so well the power and need for conversations. A worthy goal to have deep conversations. I need to do more of that.
    I’ve added your poem to our challenge – hope that was okay.

  7. Jennifer Wise

    This is such important advice! I found it interesting that on something you more or less agreed on, the conversation turned argumentative anyway. Great lessons learned. Visiting from the Hearth and Soul link party.

  8. Linda Stoll

    Lisa, your conversations on curiosity this year are fueling something inside me that needed to be brought to light. Thank you for emphasizing this approach to hard conversations and no pat answers. It’s a good thing at this stage of life when we’ve been prone to think we have all the answers and find out that we barely even understand the fullness of the questions.

  9. Michele Morin

    I love the specificity of your goal! I think it would be an improvement for this introvert to have six in-depth conversations about ANYTHING in one month.

    I appreciate the way your example pushes me to be more intentional about the way I go about my days.

  10. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, I love how your curiosity is also causing you to delve into hard conversations. I also love that you wrote an acrostic using your word. Something I may just attempt with my own word 🙂

  11. Kirstin

    This was so good. I am not the best at having hard conversations or sharing my thoughts on a topic, especially a “hot topic” because I feel like I’m always questioning what I say.

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