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Choosing Conversation

WOW, there’s such a variety of ways to describe “conversation” out there in the world! And many ways that authors categorize them, but I found little to no focus on who people are BEING in conversation.

What I’ve learned by observing communication through a lens of intention is that how people speak to each other directly connects to how well they know themselves and how deeply they live from the core of who they BE. Most people’s self-awareness is limited to their persona, and therefore their conversations take place as a superficial and automatic reaction to others. In the workplace, most conversations can often be described as one of these types:

Instructive – guidance that includes direction with expectations of targeted results

Sharing – discussing thoughts and perceptions that may include feedback and advice-giving

Protesting – focusing on “what’s not working” and holding others responsible with little to no personal accountability

Creative – brainstorming ideas to find innovative ways of handling responsibilities

These conversations can provide great value or can be destructive, depending how people show up to the discussion. As we learn to BE from our core nature at work, our focus turns toward intentional conversations. A very powerful form of purposeful communication is dialogue.

Dialogue – a highly functional communication structure that uses a conversational model. It is often very appropriate when the topic is challenging due to difference in perspectives or in highly explorative situations. Dialogue conversations can take our thought process to a deeper level that can provide remarkable results.

Some characteristics I’ve noticed to be present during highly functional conversations are:

  • Environment and timing of discussions is taken into consideration
  • Words are considered with appreciation for others before spoken
  • Deep listening is exercised to gain understanding of a perception different from your own
  • Expression and listening is carried out with respect
  • Silence is available to consider BEING influenced by another’s perception… WAIT (Why Am I Talking?)
  • Speaking gently and honestly makes it easier to truly hear each other
  • Addressing things openly results in a far better outcome than letting your mind “stew”, with neurons firing out of control
  • Presenting thoughts clearly by making an effort to give examples that others can relate to
  • Staying in the conversation long enough that everyone feels heard and can be consciously present to gain understanding and awareness

What’s important is that we take the time to BE in the moment while we consider the purpose of the conversation and explore the infinite possibilities for communicating.

What conversational choice respects the people involved and has the greatest potential for a brilliant outcome?