As texting and smart phones take over our lives, the art of a healthy conversation fades more into the background. And that affects a business conversation as much as personal conversations.
According to Celeste Headlee we are becoming more polarized, more divided that at any other time in history – as we lose the art of conversation.
Conversational Competence and Interpersonal Flexibility
These divisions and fear of political correctness mean that conversational competence and interpersonal flexibility have taken a hit.
Celeste has suggested 10 ways to have a better conversation. If we could master just one of these, we would save a lot of energy, learn more and uncover more gems of wisdom.
- Don’t multitask – Be present, be in that moment
- Don’t pontificate. Know that every conversation you have you are going to learn something from them. Everyone you ever meet will ever meet know something you don’t know.
- Ask open questions question – Start your conversation with a question: Who? Want? When? How?
- Go with the flow – let thoughts come and go
- If you don’t know, say that you don’t know
- Don’t equate your experience with theirs. Their experience will most likely be very different
- Try not repeat yourself. It is condescending and is really boring
- Stay out of the weeds. People care about you and what you are like (not the details)
- Listen – if your mouth is open, we are not learning. It takes energy. most of us don’t listen with intent to understand, we listen with an intent to reply
- Be brief – A good conversation is like a miniskirt, short enough to retain interest, but long enough to cover the subject!
Actually, all 10 principles are simple and easy to implement in any personal or business conversation. When you are conversing, you just need to ask yourself:
- am I fully present?
- am I being genuine?
- Have I made this person my priority at this point in time?
If you want to know more, check out Celeste’s TED presentation:Creating a safe environment for a real conversation
Bridgeworks’ programs are about creating the safe environments in which participants are encouraged to have the difficult conversations that our busy lives don’t allow the time for.
If you sense more open and honest conversations are needed to move your team forward, I’d love to share our experiences and ideas.
Email us or Call the Bridgeworks office on 03-9585 7990.