4 Necessary Steps to Have a Real Conversation

(Photo above by Zen Chung / Pexels)

It’s not easy to have a real conversation, especially when we can’t see eye–to–eye. Yet, at such times nothing is more crucial than heart-to-heart dialogue. Here are four great pieces of advice from the Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda.

1. Avoid prejudging and categorizing people.

We need to be aware of the danger of categorizing people into such simplistic binaries as good and bad, us and them, and friend and foe. Such an approach is one of the deep drivers of conflict.

Daisaku Ikeda

2. Make an effort to bring out the best in yourself and the other person.

These vibrant sessions [of dialogue] develop as participants give voice to the calls that issue freely from their lives, mutually respecting each other and bringing forth the best that each possesses.

Daisaku Ikeda

3. Listen to and learn from one another.

Elise Boulding [a major contributor to the academic discipline of peace and conflict studies] reminded us that the creation of a culture of peace begins from our own effort to listen to others; that when we lend our ears to opposing opinions, this can bring to light the hidden essence of things, enabling us to grasp the core aspect of an issue.

Daisaku Ikeda

4. Remember that change begins with you.

Dialogue is a choice requiring genuine courage and strength. It is the ultimate constructive undertaking of the human spirit. And it is for this reason that conflict resolution through dialogue holds the promise of a genuine and lasting solution.

Daisaku Ikeda

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