What kind of conversations are you having at the moment?
Do those conversations fulfil your needs and desires for connection?
What’s standing in the way of you having better conversations?
Today I’m going to share with you 3 ways to have better conversations
#1 Be in the Present Moment to Connect
You know how to be present in the moment. Are you present right now in this moment? What informs you that you’re present or not? How do you maintain that state of presence or come back to it? I often wiggle my toes or press my feet into the floor to feel more present in my body. When I notice that I’ve slipped away from the conversation (and gone into the past or future), I just focus on my breath or say to myself (silently) “Come back – be present now!”. If you or the person you’re conversing with isn’t present in the moment, there’s no chance to create a connection between you. Be present and notice (without judging) when you slip out of your presence, and willfully come back to it. The more you insist on being present, the easier it is to connect with others.
#2 Be generous in conversations
If you want to have better conversations with other people, be more generous. Can you give more to the conversations you’re having by sharing a personal experience, telling a story, or offering some good advice? How about expressing your curiosity about the other person by asking them a question? Is the other person struggling? Ask, “How can I help you?”. Another way to be generous is to actively listen to what the other person is saying, acknowledge what they’ve shared, and reflect it back to them. This is known as Active listening and it’s a wonderful gift that you can offer freely to anyone in a conversation. It also makes people happy because everyone likes to be listened to and everyone longs to be truly seen and heard!
#3 Know your own needs and boundaries (and communicate them when needed)
Do you sometimes get into trouble in conversations? We all have boundaries around comfort and safety in conversations, although most of us are not fully aware of them. It’s useful to know your own boundaries so you can respect them. I have boundaries for aggression and what I perceive as a lack-of-respect in conversations. When someone steps over my boundary, I will often voice it to the other person to avert misunderstandings and try to resolve it. Knowing our boundaries allows us to communicate them and make a request to the other when needed. Knowing what you need to feel safe and comfortable in a conversation and understanding what you’re not willing to tolerate is important to respecting your rights and integrity. Communicating your boundaries helps others to better understand your needs and prevents conflict. What are your boundaries in conversations?
Take action this week: Try one or more of these ideas and let me know how it goes for you!
Do you have a suggestion about how to improve the quality of conversations?
I’d love to hear from you!
Watch for More Ways to Have Better Conversations in my next post!
Co-creating a better world one conversation at a time!