Category Archives: Listening

The Weirdest Common Ground Ever

Many people are bemoaning America’s vicious public square. Few are discussing the weird common ground that most of us share—and what might be the best way to address it. Two recent conversations brought this into focus for me. The first—with a conservative Christian friend who reluctantly supported Donald Trump—fulfilled a longing I’ve had since the […]

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Where Convictions and Friendship Collide

You’re talking with an old friend over coffee. At one point in the conversation, she uses a word that sets off every alarm bell in your head. Clearly she believes something you don’t believe at all. What do you do? Bill and I have been discussing God for decades. He is a Calvinist, a deep […]

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The Second Step Toward Dialogue Is a Doozy

People ask me what my book is about. I tell them it’s about how to change from the inside out so you can talk with people who drive you nuts. They say, “Boy, do I know someone who could use your book.” That response always makes me laugh. So I’m reluctant to admit there’s a […]

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Dialogue and Dublin Billy

For a few days in June, Billy and I ate breakfast at the same café. It’s in the working-class neighborhood of Dublin where I was staying for the annual conference of the International Listening Association. I only knew Billy’s name because someone shouted a good-morning to him in the street, the way people do in […]

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If You’re Concerned About Listening, and You Want to See Dublin…

I just wrote this for an email list I participate in, and I thought some of you might want to know about it too: If you’re concerned about the future of listening in today’s noisy world, think about joining me at the 2018 International Listening Association Convention, June 20-23 in Dublin, Ireland. Three days of […]

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Why I’ve Hit the Pause Button on Dialogue

Not so long ago, most of my writing was devoted to dialogue. Dialogue and Donald Trump. Dialogue and the debate over guns. Dialogue and why my website isn’t called Dialogue Venture anymore. A whole book about dialogue. All of which makes my current approach to dialogue so curious—and maybe fruitful. For the past year or […]

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Depression, the Dark Night, and Why We Should Pause Before Shouting

I’ve been away from this space awhile, and with good reason. The good reason is hard to describe. It could have been an episode of severe depression, or a dark night of the soul, or both. My money’s on both but tilts more toward the dark night. You’ve probably heard the phrase dark night of […]

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There Is So Much More to Listening, and Life, Than You Ever Imagined

Not everyone gets advice from a dying cat. Ours has decided to bestow a few nuggets of wisdom during her long exit. They have to do with euthanasia, as you might expect, but even more with listening, and conventional wisdom, and why it’s all more complicated than we ever imagined. I’ve already written about Madeleine, […]

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