Celeste Headlee’s TED talk provides an excellent resource on how to engage in conversations in a world that is more polarized than ever. Everyone wants to be heard, and rarely is anyone listening. My mother shared with me in a conversation recently that everyone is a hero. Everyone in this world has a voice, a gift, a purpose, and all of us deserve to be treated like heroes. The famous are honored with awards and glory, but it’s in the day-to-day of ordinary people doing extraordinary things that we can choose to be amazed.
To love, cherish, honor, respect, care, give, provide, listen, smile…..
Our world and workplace need to pause and regroup.
Don’t multi-task: Be present and in that moment. Don’t be half-in. If you don’t want to have the conversation excuse yourself.
Don’t pontificate: Setting aside of oneself and your personal opinion. Be willing to learn and assume YOU have something to learn. Everybody is an expert in something.
Use open-ended questions (who, what, where, when, how): How did that feel? What was that like?
Go with the flow: Thoughts will come into your mind, let them go. Don’t insert your thoughts into a conversation and disrupt the flow.
If you don’t know, say that you don’t know: Folks will appreciate your confidence in stating your lack of knowledge.
Don’t equate your experience with theirs: It’s never the same. It’s not about you. All experiences are individual. Don’t take the time to talk about yourself. Conversations are not a promotional opportunity. Great video by Brene Brown:
Try not to repeat yourself
Stay out of the weeds: They care about you and what you have in common. Years, dates, and details are not as important as connecting with you.
LISTEN: When we talk, we feel in control. Let that control go and listen.
Always be prepared to be amazed: Everyone has some hidden amazing thing about them. Go out and talk to people. Be prepared to be amazed!