I am lucky enough to be facilitating a 5-week class at a local university on The Art of Good Conversation. Join us by considering the lists below and then please initiate discussion with your circle of friends and acquaintances on what makes a good conversation. Lets make this conversation ripple out into the world. The way we are in conversation is the way we are in the world. I believe we can make the world a better place by improving our conversations!
List 1: Our Group Selected the Top 5 Deterrents to a Good Conversation
1. Monopolizing the conversation
2. Disrespectful behaviors including interrupting and checking phone
3. Sharing without asking if people are interested; sharing too much
4. Lack of focus
5. Being an individual unwilling to discuss differences respectfully
Several of you mentioned that conversations about religion and politics were not safe topics and should be avoided. Oh, I dream of a world where we can safely and comfortably share all our viewpoints and calmly discuss our differences!
You also made me laugh when you included people who talked about their health issues too much. Too true!
List 2: Our Group Selected the Top 5 Elements to a Good Conversation
1. Openness to others’ ideas
2. Even give and take; balance between listening and sharing
3. Showing interest in the other
4. Good listening
5. Being present in the moment
List 1 seems like the negative side of List 2!
There will be cultural, ethnic, gender, and generational differences in our approach and understanding of conversations. With our increased awareness of our own tendencies (Do I monopolize? Am I the one who shares too much? Am I frequently checking my phone?) and our desire and intention to share a good conversation with others, we are on our way to good conversation.
Good for you for caring enough to explore how to improve your conversations!!
Please check in next week for a discussion of GOOD LISTENING, my personal favorite topic!