3 Ways to Have a Better Conversation
Great things come from good conversations. Yet, most conversations are not partially all that good. We rush through our interactions much like we rush through our day, preoccupied with competing thoughts, multitasking to get things done, and talking to prove a point rather than listening to expand our point of view. If you want to reap the rewards inherent in good discussions, you may want to consider the following.
- Be present and enter conversations assuming you have something to learn. Set aside your opinion and stay open.
- Ask people about their experience. What was that like or how did that feel. If you ask yes/no questions you will likely just get nodding heads.
- Don’t equate their experience with yours. If they are talking about their fear of losing their job don’t jump in with the story about the time you were afraid of losing yours. Listen and make their stories about them, not you.
Remember that conversation is not an agreement. Listening to somebody’s opinion or feelings does not mean you agree with them. It just means you are willing to engage in respectful discussion to understand another point of view. Both parties win.