Salon Recap: Conversation vs Discussion

NOTE TO READERS! Discussion of this blog is permitted, however conversation is encouraged…

Thanks to all who joined us as we kicked off our Salon Series on Wednesday, April 6! The evening was lively and full of engaging conversation about the topic of…well… conversation. Our MC and Talk Boutique co-founder, Nick Kindler gave us our task for the evening as he defined a Salon: “A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.” For those of you who were unable to make it, please enjoy this salon recap.

We began with former Hostage Negotiator and decorated Police Detective, Paul Nadeau who was very clear on his position: There are times when, even in a moment of crisis, a conversation can change the outcome for those involved. And when innocent people are at risk, conversation is over and discussion, with a clear and evident purpose, is required. He finished his talk with a call to action for all of us to understand that conversation and discussion are better together and to ask us to consider when to employ each.

Conversely, Futurist and Entrepreneur Andrew Peek had a poetic, more philosophical take. He began by quoting Rumi, “Silence is the language of gods. All else is poor translation.” He went on to observe that in the absence of conversation, when discussion is our only resource; we depend on the translation of the content by the receiver. Because discussion has a clear agenda, without the benefit of unbiased conversation, we create an inherent risk — risk of misunderstanding and risk of offence, risk of loss of connection. He encouraged us to find more time for conversation to mitigate the risk discussion brings with it.

To use a metaphor, each talk was a different flavour in the ice cream parlour of conversation and each sparked wonderful chatter amongst Guests. Overheard during the evening, one Guest observed, that Boomers, reaching the end point of their formal careers might find the conversational approach more helpful in determining what to do next. He added, it might open up more opportunities than choosing a discussion which is often guided towards an endpoint or next step.͟ Another Guest commented that the unstructured nature of conversation can bring incredible benefits and unexpected outcomes.

So, many great conversations… and discussions, where had throughout the evening, and without the aid of a ͞roving reporter͟ sadly we weren’t able to capture them all. If you overheard an interesting conversation/discussion or have a perspective you wish to share,please add your thoughts below. Also, we would love to hear your perspective on the evening,how we can improve or what your enjoyed or suggestions for future Salons. We love feedback and encourage you to comment below or send us an email: info@talkboutique.com.

Thank you again for joining us and being a part of the thought collective that gathered and created new and engaging ideas. We look forward to seeing you at the next Salon.

Nick Kindler & Andrea Sampson

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