Three Principles

The Three Principles – Personal Responsibility, Openness and Creativity – express the basic attitude or spirit with which to approach creative conversation.

Personal responsibility is essentially about our attitude to ourselves; it’s about seeing ourselves as the active agent at the centre of things. As a result, any changes we make in our behaviour can give any of our relationships a boost – maybe strengthening a friendship, ending an old feud or simply creating a better atmosphere – which can, in turn, affect our whole network. 

Openness is essentially about our attitude to others and what they care about. It takes openness sustained over a period of time to build (or rebuild) relationships; to understand the human needs underlying the thoughts and actions of other people – and our own; and to constantly seek to expand communication bandwidth between ‘us’ and ‘them’ so there is resilience in our relationships, even where there is disagreement.

And creativity is essentially about our awareness of potential, about how every conversation contains the possibility to result in something of value, however brief it might be, through addressing the basic needs of those involved. This spirit of creativity has to be quite robust – stubborn, even – as our needs are often expressed in a negative form precisely because they’re not being met.

Adopting even one of these Three Principles of Creative Conversation will have a positive effect on our relationships. Adopting all three will be transformative.