Successful conversations are ones where each party learns something from all the other parties involved. They are like playing catch.
A game of catch is wonderfully symmetrical, in that a player can only throw exactly as many times as he catches. It is ideally played with two people. In a friendly game, each player sets up his companion for success. If there are other people involved, they need to throw and catch the ball as well. If they do not, they are merely spectators.
It is striking how many parallels a game of catch has with a good conversation.
Inspiration: The Dying Art of Conversation – Celeste Headlee’s interview on the Knowledge Project podcast