“Ideal conversation must be an exchange of thought, and not, as many of those who worry most about their shortcomings believe, an eloquent exhibition of wit or oratory.”
Has someone ever told you, I don’t discuss politics and religion? That doesn’t usually mean they won’t talk about those things with anyone — just not those who disagree with them. I understand not wanting arguments and hurt feelings, but people who do not agree with us are exactly the ones we need to talk to.
It is possible to have a calm, rational conversation between people who disagree. Not easy, but possible.
So how do we do this?
- Suspend judgment and keep an open mind.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Give up any ideas about converting the other person.
- Keep things calm and civil.
- No insults or name-calling.
- Avoid direct confrontation Don’t back anyone into a corner.
- Shake hands, thank the other person for sharing their opinion. and part in peace.
These guidelines came as the result of a conversation with someone I do not agree with. Someone I saw as the enemy showed me it is possible to have those difficult conversations and part friends.
The only way to heal the great divide between groups and people is to communicate. Start talking!
“The most fruitful and natural exercise for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.”
“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how it felt. It felt like we were in some place your body can’t visit, some place with no ceiling and no walls and no floor and no instruments”
Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.”
“Although we live in an information technology age, we often find ourselves in failure to communicate situations.”
“I think that the number one rule to effective communication should be ‘choose your words wisely’. This is because a simple choice of your words can make a great difference and determine whether your message would be accepted or rejected.”
— Jason Maisons
“When we are fully present, we have access to our greatest power, creativity and ability to communicate and perform exceptionally at whatever we are doing.”
— Christopher Babson
Has this time of social isolation given you greater opportunities to communicate and become closer as a family? Even for the many who are now working from home, I hope you are making time to be fully present, especially with your children.
Use this time to read, do art projects, play games, and just talk as a family. This might mean learning a few new communication skills or dusting off some old ones, but it will be worth the effort. Your children crave your attention. During this difficult time of all the greatest gifts you can give, the best is being fully present.
“Speaking too highly of yourself might, at best, earn you admiration and respect, but by doing so, you are isolating yourself. You are constantly telling others how different you are from them and pushing them further away from you.”