About Conversation Kindling

The purpose of this blog is to share stories, metaphors, quotes, songs, humor, etc. in hopes they'll be used to spark authentic and rewarding conversations about working and living fruitfully. There are at least three things you can gain by getting involved in these conversations. First, you'll discover new and important things about yourself through the process of thinking out loud. Second, you'll deepen your relationships with others who participate by swapping thoughts, feelings, and stories with them. Finally, you'll learn that robust dialogue centered on stories and experiences is the best way to build new knowledge and generate innovative answers to the questions that both life and work ask.


I write another blog called My Spare Brain. This is where I am "storing" ideas for use in future books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and workshops. There is little rhyme or reason for what I post there. I do this to encourage visitors to come as treasure hunters looking for new ways of seeing and thinking vs. researchers looking for new or better answers to questions they already know how to ask.

15 September 2009

Are You a Hammer or a Nail?

The Hammer and Nail - created by John Provo of Reitaku University in Japan - is an exercise designed to encourage abstract thinking. It also presents the opportunity to see ourselves from many odd and interesting angles, and helps the others come to know us in new and different ways.

Conversation: From each of the following pairs of words, pick the one you think best describes you and thoughtfully explain why you feel that way. Are you:
  • Hammer or nail?
  • Child or old man or woman?
  • Sun or moon?
  • Cube or ball?
  • Present or future?
  • Yes or no?
  • Physical or mental?
  • Pencil or eraser?
  • Question or answer?
  • City or country?
  • Dictionary or novel?
  • TV or radio?
Afterwords:
"Speech is the mother, not the handmaid, of thought."- Karl Kraus
"How can I tell what I think until I see what I say?" - E.M. Forster
"Tell all the Truth but tell it slant-
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind." - Emily Dickinson

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