When was the last time you had a satisfying conversation? It’s the kind of conversation that has a rhythm to it. If you could hear it as music, it might sound like a symphony, a rap song, or a lullaby. You get something visceral from the conversation – a sense of connection, a recognition of each other as human beings, an exchange of ideas and experiences.
I think we are having less and less of these kinds of conversations. We send texts and email and we Instant Message. We talk on the phone while doing other things so that our mind is split and distracted. We attend back-to-back meetings, often virtually.
We are rushed – so we touch the highlights, get to the bottom line, and paraphrase our thought process. A client told me that at her job, they call them “drive-bys”. You see someone you want to speak to about a challenge, an idea, an update – and you rush to share the essence of the idea like a tea kettle that is whistling and then suddenly stops as it gets turned off.
A satisfying conversation is about two or more people putting your thoughts out there as if you could see them floating in the air. It’s playful and creative. There’s a give and take, an ebb and flow. There’s a connection to each other as if your thoughts were strings or vibrational energy.
The value of a satisfying conversation lies first in the connection between people – the recognition of your thoughts and ideas by another. The acknowledgment that someone wants to listen to what you have to say and that you want to hear what they have to say.
Then there is the adding on – the molding of something as ideas, thoughts, and concepts get added, taken away and developed. It’s the opportunity to think aloud, test your theories on someone else, change your opinion – grow.
A satisfying conversation is like a good story. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It feels familiar and yet surprises and engages us. We get curious and we care. Do you remember a satisfying conversation with a lover, a friend, a daughter or son, a grandparent, a coworker, a teacher? When was the last time you had a satisfying conversation with someone?
What would happen if we sought more of these kinds of conversation? Would we feel more connected to others and less alone? Would we learn more and discover more about others and ourselves? Would the care and nurturing of our relationships keep them strong and vital? Would we be inspired?
Let’s experiment. Take a look at your conversations and see how many of them are satisfying to you. If you want more, make a conscious decision to find more opportunities to have a satisfying conversation.
Pick someone you haven’t talk to in a while and have the intention to really connect and have that satisfying conversation. Notice how you feel afterwards and the impact it has on you. Once you do that, I think you will seek to nurture more great conversation and by doing that you will nurture you.
“It is not what we learn in conversation that enriches us. It is the elation that comes of swift contact with tingling currents of thought.” – Agnes Repplier, American Essayist & Writer