We meet. We converse. We enjoyed each others company. We part ways. We leave the conversation wondering what we are supposed to do next.

Why was that interaction important to me?

Questions

Whether you have thought about it or not, you better start paying attention to the conversational reactions you are having. Internal conversations are distracting your attention and focus. They are preventing you from deepening your connection with the other person.

You are withholding the greatest gift you can give, your full conscious attention. Your future success depends on changing this behavior.

I know what you are thinking…another post telling me what to do…just what I needed.

{Insert sarcastic reaction here}

Before you exit stage left, let’s get one thing clear. You and I cannot have a conversation without your full participation. We cannot help each other become a better version of ourselves without engaging in a meaningful two-way conversation.

My intention is to elevate our conversation…help you find your own answers. 

Me standing on a soapbox preaching is a one-way conversation. This type of dialog is reserved for the politicians, salesmen, lobbyists, and preachers.  You could view this post as a sermon or you can view it as an opportunity to share your experiences while learning.

Don’t read the rest of this post unless you are teachable.

Coaching clients repeatedly ask if I learn from our conversations. The answer is a resounding YES. I learn how I show up in the world.  I learn what is important to me. I learn what I need to work on. My perceptions are challenged and I find new opportunities for growth. My coachees help me find my own answers.

Our true character is revealed in conversation.

Conversations are much more than an exchange of information. Our physical and emotional reactions are clues to discovering our truth. Try as we might, we cannot hide who we are from the people we interact with. Every dialog reveals who we are and how we see the world. Our core beliefs and emotional state of being are ever-present and accounted for.

Any attempts to internalize our thoughts and feelings will only result in masking our truth.

We cannot hide from our truth. We must be present, honest, and fully transparent with ourselves. Expansive growth comes from adopting these simple principles.

Unconscious conversing is akin to standing on a soapbox preaching.

Heightened awareness drives conscious communication. Learning how to raise our awareness opens the door to new possibilities. Good news is, conscious awareness is an easily learned skill.

Here’s some guiding principles to help you begin your learning.—

  • We are who we are, and the other person is who they are
  • The only one we can control is ourselves
  • Our gender, cultural heritage, religion, family, occupations, education, social status, economic status, etc. mesh together to form our worldly view
  • We are uniquely different from the next person, yet we are one with them
  • Our emotions and moods play a vital role in our development
  • We have emotional reactions during conversations
  • We have physical reactions during conversations
  • We use verbal language and body language to convey or protect our thoughts and feelings
  • We may not feel safe in sharing our thoughts and feelings with others
  • There’s a good chance we are completely transparent to the other people
  • Ironically, we are blind (w/o conscious effort) to how we show up

WOW…that’s a lot to think about. Take a deep breath…hold it…let it out. This is important stuff to learn about ourselves.

Do you recognize why this is important? 

I hope you do.  Are you up for a little internal experimentation?  Of course you are.

There are many ways to become more self-aware. Allow me to offer two quick and easy to practice conversational self-awareness.

  1. For 3 conversations every day during the next week, intentionally take notice to what happens during conversations.  Notice how your energy and mood shifts. Notice how your emotions trigger a reaction in your body. Are you engaging or withdrawing from the conversation? What else do you observe?
  2. Select 3-5 conversations during the next week. Intentionally decide to take a certain attitude into it. In the first conversation, “AGREE” to everything that is being said, just go with it. In the next conversation, do the opposite and “DISAGREE.” Choose whatever attitude you want. The important thing is to try it. As with the previous practice, notice what is going on in your body and emotions.

What did you learn? Did you feel your awareness grow? 

Bonus practice: Try each practice by paying complete attention to the other person. Did you observe their reactionary shifts?