Having their classes in a cafeFace it. Most of us have hands-on experience with the truism, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Or how about this one — repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

Yet, with desperate conviction we strive to instigate or choose to engage in the same conversation that changed nothing yesterday.

With the highest of motives, we stick to our guns. Retrench. Turn up the volume.

(Then there are those moments when motives are not all that lofty; but let’s assume the best.)

In presentations, pleas, and efforts to motivate, it is so easy to rely on a defined, albeit tired narrative…crossing fingers in hopes that today’s response will be better than yesterday’s.

Whether selling, courting, or just determined to let our voice be heard, we pull out a worn script, talking point outline, or manifesto with a track record of marginal success.

A quest for something that connects might prompt an edit or a tweak; but much of the time this is little more than moving the deck chairs. Words shift. Visuals are updated. And we roll it out one more time, hoping for a new outcome.

And the problem is that every-once-in-a-while it works…just enough to make us believe we are moving the needle.

But if connecting once-in-a-while isn’t good enough, changing the conversation might be worth exploring.

A Clean Whiteboard

A fresh start should be at least a little enticing to creative communicators. What could be more exciting than a clean slate?

This isn’t about fun and games in the creative suite. It isn’t about a soft-focus lens, Photoshop, or a silver-tongued devil.

It is about rethinking the dialogue, and recommitting to listening. It is about identifying the language necessary to connect. And nurturing a different conversation.

Where does it begin? With the most basic idea in communication theory — that real communication begins in that (often tiny) space where experiences are shared.

When meaningful conversations do not ensue — when we fail to connect — the root cause is almost always that we are missing, misunderstanding or completely disregarding the identification of what we share.

Instigating a new conversation is not easy. Some will suggest there are seasons or situations where it is impossible. Maybe.

But maybe what is required is an honest desire to connect, to search for common experience and shared aspirations.

What if the objective was not to win…or convince…or convert? But to connect? What if this is where change begins?