I am making progress in learning what makes it especially difficult to practice Inquiry:
- When I really care about an issue (like whether corporations behave ethically or not)
- When I know quite a bit about the topic (like business ethics)
- The context (I find it difficult, oddly, to practice with friends in a social setting and easier in a professional setting where it is perhaps expected of me)
The first two points above are situations in which I would especially like to practice Inquiry. That is, in fact, the whole point of the exercise for me, not to get into a wrangle where each person presents his or her own view but does not try to learn anything about other ways of looking at a situation. Everyone loses in that scenario, because each person goes home having learned nothing and perhaps even more stuck in his or her original opinion.
At this point, I feel I need to make clear that in the above I am talking both about the structured Inquiry I have written about before, based on the Ladder of Inference, and the mindset that should accompany the structure–a genuine desire to understand how the other person sees a situation.
I shall see if knowing the above helps me practice curiosity in general. In any case, as of tomorrow I am back at work and will have more opportunities to practice in a professional setting. Maybe that will go better?