Trans4mind Home Page

Constructing a Conversation

By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D

A game of catch goes nowhere unless you have a partner who catches the ball and throws it back to you. Similarly, a conversation goes nowhere unless you have a partner who listens to what you're saying and responds in a way that keeps the conversation going.

A good conversation is constructed by a speaker and a listener each doing their part. A great conversation is constructed with respectful, interesting, enriching content. You learn something. You teach something. Your knowledge increases. Your curiosity is piqued. You relish the time spent together.

The prototype for a great conversation is a couple in love. They make good eye contact. Listen well. Speak with enthusiasm. Value what the other person says. Feel valued by the other person. Disagree respectfully. Enjoy each other.

The prototype for a poor conversation is modern Congress. What passes for communication is pontificating your beliefs, mocking your opponents'. Nobody listens. Nobody learns. Nobody appreciates. Is it any wonder that the respect Americans have for Congress is at an all time low?

To construct our own great conversations, we need to listen and speak respectfully. No need to be starry eyed lovers. But do everything you can to avoid the Congressional model.

Want to improve your conversational skills? Avoid these common conversational breakers:

Speaking:
Going on and on without giving the other person a chance to talk. ("Yakety, yak, yak, yak.")
Pontificating ("Of course, it's done this way. How else?")
Confusing listening with obeying. ("Why aren't you listening to me? I told you to do it this way!")
Making a definitive statement without explaining your position. ("This is what has to be done.")

Listening:
Listening while multi-tasking. (Checking your phone messages as you listen.)
Responding with frequent "Yes, But" statements. ("Yes, BUT I don't want to do it.")
Interrupting with a rebuttal. ("I know what you're saying and it's ridiculous.")
Rolling your eyes or displaying other disrespectful body language.

Do you admit to doing any of these no-no's? Good. I respect your honesty. You are more sincere than one who deflects his own behavior by blaming others. "I don't listen because you give me too many details." "I only use that tone of voice because you never listen."

It's true that good speaking skills enhance people's ability to listen. But you shouldn't have to be an award winning speaker to get a loved one to listen. Similarly, it's true that good listening skills encourage one to speak effectively. But you shouldn't have to be a topflight listener to get a loved one to speak respectfully to you.

Speaking well and listening well create an extraordinary game of catch in which both of you feel energized, enriched, respected and valued. Good goal to aim for, don't you think?

Copyright © 2013: Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
Linda Sapadin is a psychologist and personal coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her by email or visit her website at PsychWisdom.
Communication & Relationships articles

Good info on many topics:
Submit your own article

Tools for Transformation

personal development
Trans4mind offers its visitors a huge range of complimentary personal development resources for self-directed education and transformation of the whole person...
HOW TO USE THE RESOURCES 
Introduction to our Tools for Transformation. We aim to open up the mind to new ideas, new challenges and new solutions - to think differently and be creative.
SEE THE SITE MAP 
Describes all the contents of Trans4mind.com.
WORDS OF WISDOM 
Here are our favorite quotes. The best quotes distill powerful wisdom into a few words and can make a real difference to our perception and understanding. Including:
Life  Purpose, Spiritual  Awareness, Success and Abundance, Wisdom from the Heart, Happiness and Wellbeing, Communication & Relationships, Motivation and Leadership, Parenting and Education, Emotional Intelligence, Transitions in Life, Social Community, Quirky Quotes, Creativity, Proverbs, Humor - and many further topics in the Wisdom from the Heart section.
INSIDE-OUT BLOG 
Articles by Peter Shepherd and Wallace Huey. Imagine if the values of the heart could be brought into our families, communities, charities, organizations and businesses... what kind of a world would this create?
TRANS4MIND PODCASTS 
Audios by Peter Shepherd, focused on key personal development topics, to help advance your personal growth.
RAISE YOUR VIBRATION 
A free meditation program to help you experience the state of unconditional love - key to lasting joy and fulfillment in your life.
THE POSITIVE APPROACH 
Become more clear about your own identity, what you want in life - your life vision - and how to manifest your full potential.
THE AFTERLIFE 
If we do actually have a soul, then where does it go after death? Near-death experiences provide convincing answers.
ONLINE BOOKS 
Check out our fascinating collection of complete books for you to read online, including Peter Shepherd’s Transforming the Mind, which created the foundation of this site back in 1997.
EBOOK DOWNLOADS 
Over 250 PDFs to freely download covering many personal development topics - and including the range of Trans4mind publications.
KNOW YOUR OWN MIND 
Free personality test based on the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. See yourself as others may see you, in a more objective light, so you can know yourself better.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS 
Watch our selection of over 400 personal development videos by top experts, offering many insights about mind, body and spirit.
AND LOTS MORE 
Our site is expansive, including loads of helpful resources. See what else we have.

Check out the menus on the top of every page too!

Hypnosis Downloads

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd
Terms of Use & Privacy Policy       Email Webmaster