Remember when we use to talk? We were able to solve the world’s problems over an ice cream soda.
What happened to the art of conversation? Now it seems to be texting, tweeting and posting on Facebook – and we talk in acronyms – seemingly a foreign language for many.
What happened to that face-to-face conversation that allowed us to use our senses of seeing beyond the spoken word, hearing the intonations and meaning, touching the outstretched hand, tasting the salty tear on the soft cheek or smelling the freshly laundered shirt?
Conversation is that give and take in exchange of ideas, dreams, and desires. Where is that opportunity for us to swap thoughts – to gain perspective? What happened to us?
Often, in my coaching discussions, the discovery of the client is that he/she has presumed an understanding or intention of the other person. One of my first questions is – how did that conversation go? And the answer is often: “Oh, we didn’t talk…I just know!” Hmmm….interesting!
Stephen Covey’s Habit 5 is: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This is one of my favorite ‘habits’- although, I’m confident I can be very annoying or even frustrating to some! I am sometimes viewed as resistive when I continue to ask questions – so that I can better understand. Yet, how can I understand if I do not question the why and what and how? It is an incredible beginning to understanding.
Relationships often deteriorate because of assumptions or misreading queues. Talking, listening and having courageous, loving, challenging, refreshing, healing conversations are critical to our well being and to our relationships.
Before your next text or tweet or Facebook post – take a moment and consider Habit 5…what would it be like to fully and completely understand the recipients’ point of view – his/her intention? Am I clear? How would my response differ if we had a conversation?
What would it be like to solve this problem over an ice cream soda?