Discussion Dinner #9: Inefficiency Podcast Recap

This Discussion Dinner Inefficiency Podcast recap has been generously penned by Kimberly Culbertson.


Discussion Dinner is one!

We kicked off 2016 with a more focused vision and discussed inefficient, uncomfortable love with Matt Inman from the Inefficiency Podcast. Together we shared an incredible potluck meal (like Sarah’s amazing vegan chili!) and even better conversation—and we recorded it all for Inefficiency! Listen to our podcast episode now!

Sam welcomed us into a new year of dinners and shared her heart for 2016’s dinners: to share company and conversation that reflect an appreciation and advocacy for diversity.

Discussion Dinner is designed to expand empathy and understanding.

We are looking to be more intentional.

We want to challenge our own empathy and understanding across lines of gender, race, class, and sexuality.

We’re looking to step into uncomfortable, uneasy conversations, and to brave uneasy relationships.

The will require time, and grace. This will require inefficiency.

Discussion Dinner Inefficiency Podcast recap

Matt’s podcast was a perfect kickoff for the vision for this year’s Discussion Dinners. His mission—to go out of our way for that which we love most—dovetails perfectly. We could easily enjoy another year of fantastic conversation with people who are mostly like us.

But to reach out for something more, we’ll have to go out of our way.

Our conversation over dinner explored our experiences with uncomfortable, inefficient love and how we might create more space to explore and grow in what matters most to us.

Discussion Dinner Inefficiency Podcast recap


Here are the Inefficiency Podcast recap highlights that stood out to me:

01. Diversity will require an inefficient, uncomfortable, go-out-of-our-way kind of love. As Sam said, “Inclusion doesn’t happen naturally.”

02. Discomfort is vital to growth. Very rarely do we grow in a comfortable environment. As we seek greater depths of empathy and understanding, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable and challenged.

03. According to Matt, inefficiency = the movement toward authenticity by way of vulnerability. We discussed what makes us feel vulnerable. We debated if authenticity is really worth it. (We decided yes.)

Our conversation of uncomfortable love hit a number of areas, including:

  • sitting with someone during their grief
  • illuminating the parts of us that are still developing
  • loving during endings
  • “risky” relationships (and what makes something risky in the first place)
  • determining when to keep our walls up versus taking them down (“the wall is there for a reason, but…”)
  • and even being honest about your love through praise and encouragement (will this sound lame or sycophantic?).

04. In discussing endings, boundaries, and going deep even though a relationship might not make it, the question, “Is it worth it?” came up a lot. This quotation from Brené Brown really hit home as we wrestled with the question: “Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.”

05. Sometimes we are uncomfortable because the narrative we tell ourselves is at risk if we truly arrive at understanding and empathy.

06. People are more complex than we think. It may be “efficient” to categorize and move on, but that categorization will eventually fail us. I’m not quite sure who said it, but I thumb-typed this quote: “I knew them so well that I could expect certain things, but people surprise you.” Do we allow our friends and family to change? Are we allowed to change in relationship?

Discussion Dinner Inefficiency Podcast recap


After the conversation wound down and the recording came to a close, we celebrated the space that Discussion Dinner creates for us to show up, to be real with each other, and to really wrestle with ideas and perceptions. We sang happy birthday and blew out the candles together. And then we packed up our things and stepped back out into everyday life.

Hopefully we find ourselves a little bit changed, recalibrated, or reminded. Hopefully we’re a little more likely to slow down and show up.

For me as I process our conversation, I am pondering a couple of questions:

  1. First, what kind of inefficient, uncomfortable love am I called to this year? Where am I avoiding it, maybe even fighting it? What does this look like in action?
  2. And second, is it worth it?

I hope that it is.


And I hope that as we blow out the candles next year,

we’ll look back on a year of stepping beyond our comfort zones.

That over the course of these upcoming dinners and field trips,

we’ll be able to encourage

—to literally give courage to—

one another for the inefficient work ahead.


Because, as Matt summed up so well, “If we don’t take the time with our relationships, passions, and values, they may go unspoken, unlived.”

And don’t forget to listen to Discussion Dinner + Inefficiency Podcast episode now!

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