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The Centre for

Creative Conversation

The Three Bricklayers

Updated: Apr 12

Drawing of the elevation of a palace

No, it’s not the name of a pub. It’s an old tale about a man seeing three bricklayers working on a building-site.


‘What are you doing?’ he asks.


‘Laying bricks,’ says the first.


‘And what about you?’ he asks the second.


‘I’m building a wall,’ comes the reply.


‘And you?’


‘I’m building a palace,’ says the third.


Each bricklayer is carrying out exactly the same action – laying bricks – but the way each of them sees that action gives it a different degree of meaning and purpose. 


So how is that relevant to this course on the 7 Habits of Creative Conversation?


Well, it’s because the more meaning and purpose you can find in what you do, the more value you'll gain and the more likely you'll be to persist with it, especially when the going gets a bit more challenging.


The bigger the vision, the stronger your motivation will be to keep going, keep growing and keep developing.


Line drawing of a shoot growing into a mature plant

The vision that drives us in building this course – our palace – is of a world in which miscommunication and misunderstanding are minimised, and mutual understanding, real connection, is maximised.


Just think of the benefits of that in all areas of life – especially in light of the daunting environmental and social challenges that are hurtling towards us.


Some people might think that this vision is a pipe-dream – which is exactly why we've developed creative conversation as a practical, learnable way to improve how we connect, one-to-one, as fellow human beings.


Those one-to-one connections we think of as the bricks in our palace – and from the feedback we get, we know that they're solid and sturdy; that creative conversation definitely helps people forge stronger connections.


A 'wall' of headshot photos of smiling people

The wall is each person's individual network of existing and potential relationships – at home, at work and in society – built using these individual bricks.


And it's entirely up to you whether you're laying bricks or building a wall – or you share our vision of building a palace. The benefits will come whatever your approach – just as long as you work through this course as it's designed, from beginning to end.


The most important thing is to do a little something every day, if you can, to apply the skills of creative conversation to your relationships – and to see, bit by bit, brick by brick, how your efforts are bringing about real, tangible, positive change for yourself and those around you.


Now – where's that trowel?


Cartoon line drawing of a trowel



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