Conversations are the lifeblood of our existence.
Imagine a life, where we couldn’t speak with anyone else, ever. What a shrivelled existence it would be! Conversations are more than just a way to communicate. It’s a way to live our lives, a way to live better. We are able to survive and thrive because we can connect with others through our words. No one can grow in isolation.
But given that conversation is so fundamental to our being, it is illogical that we don’t make more conscious efforts to train our
As per her, here are 10 things we can and probably should do to have better, more meaningful conversations:
- “Don’t multitask. I mean, be present. Be in that moment. Don’t think about your argument you had with your boss. Don’t think about what you’re going to have for dinner. If you want to get out of the conversation, get out of the conversation, but don’t be half in it and half out of it.”
- “Don’t pontificate. If you want to state your opinion without any opportunity for response or argument or pushback or growth, write a blog.” –For others like me who like to live in a restricted universe of regularly-used, comfortable words, I have done the homework for you! Pontificate means to – “express one’s opinions in a pompous and dogmatic way.”
- “Use open-ended questions. Let them describe it. They’re the ones that know. Try asking them things like, “What was that like?” “How did that feel?” Because then they might have to stop for a moment and think about it, and you’re going to get a much more interesting response.”
- “Go with the flow. That means thoughts will come into your mind and you need to let them go out of your mind. We’ve heard interviews often in which a guest is talking for several minutes and then the host comes back in and asks a question which seems like it comes out of nowhere, or it’s already been answered. That means the host probably stopped listening two minutes ago because he thought of this really clever question, and he was just bound and determined to say that. And we do the exact same thing. We’re sitting there having a conversation with someone, and then we remember that time that we met Hugh Jackman in a coffee shop.”
- “If you don’t know, say that you don’t know. Err on the side of caution.”
- “Don’t equate your experience with theirs. If they’re talking about having lost a family member, don’t start talking about the time you lost a family member. If they’re talking about the trouble they’re having at work, don’t tell them about how much you hate your job. It’s not the same. It is never the same. All experiences are individual. And, more importantly, it is not about you. You don’t need to take that moment to prove how amazing you are or how much you’ve suffered. Somebody asked Stephen Hawking once what his IQ was, and he said, “I have no idea. People who brag about their IQs are losers.
“”– Just a personal thought here. I completely agree with Celeste that it’s not about us. But sometimes, when we share our experiences and struggles, it paves the way for the other person to also open up. Of course, there’s a place and time for everything and I may have a different context in mind, but sometimes sharing your own related struggles may help create comfort and ease on both ends.
- “Try not to repeat yourself. It’s condescending, and it’s really boring, and we tend to do it a lot. Especially in work conversations or in conversations with our kids, we have a point to make, so we just keep rephrasing it over and over. Don’t do that.”
- “Stay out of the weeds. Frankly, people don’t care about the years, the names, the dates, all those details that you’re struggling to come up with in your mind. They don’t care. What they care about is you. They care about what you’re like, what you have in common. So forget the details. Leave them out.”
- “Listen. I cannot tell you how many really important people have said that listening is perhaps the most, the number one most important skill that you could develop. Buddha said, and I’m paraphrasing, “If your mouth is open, you’re not learning.” And Calvin Coolidge said, “No man ever
listenedhis way out of a job. “”
- “Be brief.“
Conversations make up our lives. And it’s important to make efforts to polish our
You can also visit https://www.celesteheadlee.com/
I really enjoyed reading her work, especially this one.
Keep sharing your thoughts!