I was having an online conversation via Facebook not too long ago… This was a brand new contact; we connected through a mutual friend and this individual found some of my musings interesting enough to comment. There is sometimes an uneasy familiarity that comes with our involvement in social media. I am usually always happy to share information about who I am, and certainly quite a bit when it comes to my business viewpoint, ethics, and motivation.
Where do you stand philosophically?
While we were conversing, he asked me this question, where I stood philosophically. I have never been asked that question. That is the uneasy familiarity I was talking about. I had just written about the “people like to do business with people they know” part of new media, marketing, and business and was discussing this online. I thought we were going to discuss this – no. I thought for a minute and wrote back in response to the question, “I am an inpatient pacifist.” It made sense to me. I was then asked what it is that I wanted for people. Again, I thought for a minute and wrote, “I want for others what I expect for myself.” Then I rattled off: peace, tolerance, loyalty, to be heard, happiness… blah, blah, blah…
What do you want for people?
Seemed simple enough at the time. Until his next question which was, “Are you the L-word?” I was puzzled. I was kind of shocked, actually. Then said, “No, I’m not a Liberal, not that there is anything wrong with that.” I thought I was being funny. But then I continued with, “I am a Listener.., so yes, I guess I am the L-word.”
I am a Listener.
Jumping to conclusions is what leads to irrational conversations between people of differing opinions. Discussions that are one-sided in listening are not conversations, they are lectures. No one wants to be lectured in their own home, or at dinner, or on the corner, or anywhere except in a classroom – and even then, no one wants it.
Web 1.0 was one-way internet communication. Web 2.0 is interactive, responsive, open. Make your conversations Talk 2.0 – not one-way. Talk 1.0 went out with dictatorships. There is much we can learn from each other when we listen with openness and compassion. You take that away and oppressive leanings hang heavy. Listening may seem old-fashioned; it’s not. It’s the wave of the future – listening with purpose.