How To Have Conversations That Matter
On a very real level, we've lost our connection to conversation as a source for creativity and aliveness. Does this seem like a true statement? Consider the amount of time we spend numbed out with Netflix binges, or alcohol, or solitaire. It's so easy to check out rather than engage with others. If we are having conversations, too often our objective is to assert ourselves so that our own point is heard; resorting to modes of defense or the need to be right. In business conversations, political correctness and disengagement can get in the way of any real creation.
As if that's not enough, now we've become accustomed to using text messaging for important conversations -- replacing long, rich, in-person connections where eye contact and body language contribute to the communication. When is the last time a series of emotionally charged text messages created much of anything besides miscommunication?
We have checked out.
How can we rekindle our commitment to having conversations that matter? What would we gain by doing that?
First, the world has big problems that must be solved. The moment we tap in to one another's unique perspective and insights, we begin to solve these problems.
My life is made richer and more satisfying because of the relationships I have with the people with whom I interact. Whether they are friends, family, clients, or strangers I meet during travel, it's the people I am surrounded by that make life worth living. It's the curious, light-hearted, deep-rooted, loving conversations I get to have with people that light me up.
When I'm committed to having conversations that matter, new ideas come alive. Something gets created, whether it's a new understanding, an action that can be taken, or simply being entertained. When there's a two way conversation, and both parties are actively listening to the other, we both feel witnessed and heard.
Here are several tips to integrate so that your next conversation can be more powerful:
- Authenticity - be yourself in the conversation
- Create the listening to be so exquisite, that it's as if it’s the last conversation one will have with the other
- Everyone has a stated intention, and everyone benefits
- Delete automatic language, and catchphrases, using language to communicate what you really mean
- Come with an open mind, and an expectation that something positive will happen
- Be curious
- In the active listening, commit to everyone walking away with a new understanding
- Commit to generating conversations that matter
- Ask more questions
- Have courage to bring about change
- Assuming that we all come to the table with assumptions (what are they?)
- Be willing to learn something
- Engage your heart
- Suspend the need to have the outcome you want or predict
Everything important and worthy that gets created in the world begins with a conversation. Why not make your very next conversation be one of the most productive, enriching conversations you've ever had?