The magic of real communication
There is something special that happens when two or more people come together and have a great conversation. This occurs when each person listens to others, considers new perspectives, shares ideas and they build on one another. It’s as if they create something new just by sharing and talking.
So many conversations are disappointing because one of those essential elements is missing.
Do any of these sound familiar in a conversation you were a part of?
- You could only listen because you couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
- You have something to say and instead of listening to the other person, you keep thinking about what you want to say when you get a chance.
- You were sharing with someone, and they just couldn’t entertain your perspective; they just couldn’t seem to let go of their own view.
- You share something personal, and the other person thinks they “know exactly what you mean” but they really don’t and you don’t feel heard.
So, let’s all endeavour to listen deeply, to be truly interested in what others have to say, to share generously and see how we can build on each other’s ideas. Besides this being an enjoyable experience, we will need this kind of communication if we are going to create new ideas and solutions to our world’s biggest problems – or even most of our smaller ones.
What are your habits?
We all develop habits – what are your conversation habits? Test yourself: commit to being curious about your own habits over the next week by asking yourself:
- Am I really listening?
- How is their viewpoint different than mine? (This keeps us from assuming we already know what they mean).
- What can I learn from their viewpoint?
- How can I contribute to the conversation rather than compete with their ideas or swing the conversation towards my own interests?
And when you find yourself listening, being curious, trying on others’ perspectives and having a co-creative conversation – enjoy and celebrate the magic you’ve been creating together.
Great communication skills are harder than we think because the brain’s natural tendencies can get in the way. When we understand those blockers, it is easier to change how we listen, how we entertain others’ perspectives and how we can be more curious.But that’s not what I wanted!What is Toxic Positivity?