Conversations fill our days as we interact with people personally and professionally all the time. But have you ever stopped to consider the quality of these conversations and whether what you say is really being heard? Considerable emphasis is placed on our lack of listening skills and this has tremendous merit. However, of equal value is when we do open our mouth, how well do we convey our message?
Julian Treasure in a recent Ted Talk explored this and offered a couple of insights as to how you can ensure that the words you speak are actually worth listening to. Approaching this from a slightly negative, or things not to do, he suggested the following.
1. Don’t Gossip
2. Don’t Judge
3. Avoid Negativity
4. Don’t Complain
5. Don’t Make Excuses
6. Don’t Lie
7. Don’t be Dogmatic
Energetically, engaging in a conversation from any of these negative behaviors, is draining. So if you have a tendency, work to minimize and ultimately eliminate. Or if you have to listen to this, have the other person reframe what they said and offer a more positive perspective or alternative. As the old saying goes, “misery follows misery”. Don’t be the one to fuel that fire.
Whether you are a coach, a leader or a parent these behaviors negate healthy, meaningful conversations. According to Treasure, it is because they all lack honesty, authenticity, integrity and / or love. In a world where much of the media is negative, there is an opportunity for people to exhibit decency, exercise discretion where appropriate, and ultimately to say the right thing to the right person at the right time.