Presence. Spontaneity. Empathy. What I’m talking about may sound subtle, but it’s really critical. Words can unite or separate us. Conversations can connect or divide us. I attended a teaching by the Dalai Lama this summer. Among the many insightful things he said was this: “The 20th Century was a century of conflict. The 21st century will be a century of conversation.” If you believe this–and I do–then it follows that the quality of the century will be determined by the quality of our conversations. And not just those happening between heads of state in remote and exclusive enclaves, but the ones you and I have every day at work and at home. Each exchange is an opportunity to breathe life back into our words, to achieve the potential of communing in communication, which will remind us that not only are we not alone, we are in fact, one.