How to have a better conversation

I realized a long time ago that I had a problem. I didn’t have any idea how to have a conversation. Turns out a lot of people don’t. Here’s what I learned.

First: My notes

(raw and edited only for visual flow).

  1. Be present.
  2. Don’t pontificate.
  3. Use open ended questions. Who what where when why how. What was that like? How did that feel?
  4. Go with the flow. If you think of something let it go.
  5. If you don’t know, say that you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with their’s. If they’re talking about losing their family member, don’t talk about the time you lost your family member it’s not the same.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself.
  8. Stay out of the weeds. Ignore the details. No one cares. They care about you.
  9. Listen.
  10. Be brief.

Where I learned this:

10 Ways to have a better conversation By Celeste Headlee on TED


What I learned:

This is without a doubt the best explanation I have seen in a long time. Like I said, I have a problem. Hey! At least I’m trying to solve it!

So what gives? In a nut, people have stopped listening. Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking I’ve heard that before. blah blah blah.

See what I mean? But what can we do about it? dunno

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

I made a list of key take aways from that video. I review it often. When I’m upset at myself about how a conversation went I watch the video. Then, I meditate, and remember we all make mistakes, and I cut it loose.

I hope you can do the same. Namaste.

Is that all? Nope. Here’s this for further study. I didn’t find this as useful, but The Book Of Life is Phenomenal:

Thanks to the Tools and Toys Quality Linkage weekly newsletter for sharing this with me in the weekly newsletter. I highly recommend it.


If you are still reading, well, you know that I needed this after my last article about moral equivalency.  Don’t worry.  I’ve got more JUICY stuff in the works!

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