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Sacred Conversations: Dr. Christopher Reed Shares Tips for More Meaningful Communication


Do you remember the last conversation you had that challenged your way of thinking or inspired you to act? A conversation that changed your mind, your heart, or maybe even your life? To help us have more meaningful conversations more often, Father Dave welcomes Dr. Christopher Reed to the show. Dr. Reed has a Ph.D. in human communication and believes that dialogues that transform hearts and strengthen relationships are sacred. He shares a blueprint for having more meaningful interactions in his new book, “Sacred Conversations: How God Wants Us To Communicate.”

Dr. Reed begins by explaining his Sacred Conversations Model to Father Dave: “The model itself is laid out like an Ikea set of instructions, (e.g. do step one before you do step two) and the components are invitation.” Dr. Reed explains that when we respond to the invitation, we can open ourselves to the spirit. “It all starts with love and compassion for the other person, the face of Christ that we see in them right in front of us. If we start with love, we can’t go wrong.”

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Dr. Reed explains that part of the reason he wrote the book is because there are many secular books on having tough conversations, but there haven’t been any simple, accessible, well-researched books on Catholic dialogue and how Christians should engage in dialogue with one another. He says “Sacred Conversations” is a “blending of science and Scripture” that can be used for all of life’s moments. Father Dave points out that the book is also drawing on the Word of God, sacred traditions and Jesus’ model of living.

Father Dave and Dr. Reed go on to discuss the chapter called “Rules of the Road” which highlights some of the rules of sacred conversations, like having compassion and not forcing a conversation. Father Dave asks about the rule, “follow through on your good intentions.”

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“Commit to the process,” Dr. Reed responds. “See it through. A sacred conversation is a ‘helping’ conversation; it’s a build-your-brother or- sister-up conversation…and so all other intentions beyond that should be questioned and reflected upon, and then once we commit to that ‘helping’ or ‘seeking’ conversation, follow the process through, see what emerges, ask for guidance (which is another rule). Then, when we get to that moment of grace, follow it through — what do you want to do with that? What small steps could you take toward a better outcome, a better version of yourself, a better relationship?

Father Dave wraps up by wondering what happens if the other person in the conversation doesn’t want to give anything, “Doesn’t it take two to tango?” he asks.

“This is a conversational dance. It’s like improvisational jazz,” Dr. Reed explains. “But we have to learn how to play our scales before we can truly gracefully improvise together. You know, we have to learn the basic steps of a dance before we can, Cha Cha and Samba and move fluently together.”