According to Webster, convert is a verb meaning ‘to bring over from one belief, view, or party to another.‘ Webster also defines win as a verb meaning ‘to achieve victory in a fight, contest, game, etc.‘ And discussion is defined as ‘consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate.’
However, too often our discussions end up being a conversion competition in which we attempt ‘to achieve victory by bringing the other over from their belief or view to ours.’ Discussions turn into debates. Interactions to win, not interactions to learn from.
And yes, there is a time and a place for debate and even conversion, but less frequently than we think. Learning requires us to suspend our point of view for a period of time in order to create space to hear the other. And likely multiple others. Discussions through which learning occurs are experiences where everyone brings their opinions, their experiences, and shares them. Not with the intent to convert or win, but with the intent of listening to the other and perhaps even to be converted.