Want to ruin a good conversation, drift or think of what you’re going to say next.
We’ve talked about listening before, but beyond listening is focus. In my earlier years, I was so distracted during conversations that I often got caught with no response other than a blank stare, wondering – what did this person just say, how should I respond, and how the heck do I save myself from total embarrassment? Generally, I’d be some percentage in the conversation and in some percentage of thought about something that had nothing to do with the conversation. The results were always a disjointed, awkward response or clumsy redirect only to do it again after their next response. Tragic! Not only were conversations infused with stress, they never reached even a hint of their potential and as fate would have it, overtime I became more introverted, lonely and insecure about basic social circumstances. Then I got married. Talk about bringing gasoline to a bonfire. It was in the process of forcing my mind to stay in the conversation that I discovered the hidden gem of creating relationships, especially with my wife. And although I still get caught in the drift from time-to-time, I’m now able to refocus in quickly. Where before my conversations were 50% in and 50% distracted, today I hover around 90% to 100% in. Through a bit of work and a new habit formed, I’m keenly aware that people are well pleased when I stay within the frame of the conversation. It’s a benefit that keeps me from nervously switching to the “me” show; an empty stage where I alone have a disconnected one-way monologue, ignore the audience, and no one claps. In fact, no one’s really there, but me, alone, afraid, and humiliated when I get caught in the drift.
Don’t miss the value of being “all in” during conversations today!
What percentage are you in, and out of conversations?
What would a day of “being all in” during conversations bring to bear?