What’s wrong with this conversation?

2nd April 2019

Quick quiz: What’s wrong with this conversation?

Person #1: I had a bad day at work today. I argued with Sarah
Person #2: I hate it when I argue with people. I fell out with a friend last month
#1: I know. She didn’t like how I described her job in a meeting
#2: Exactly the same happened with me. And the friendship hasn’t been the same since
#1: I don’t know what to do
#2: I don’t. I used to really like him

So what’s wrong with this conversation?

The answer:

It isn’t a conversation.

Neither of them is listening to the other one. This is a good example of what Dr. Stephen Covey meant when he said ‘most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply’

In my experience, everyone thinks they’re good at listening to other people.

But conversations like this happen all-too-often.

So, next time someone says something to you, rather than saying “The same thing happened to me”, ask more about their situation:

  • “That sounds hard – what happened?”
  • “Really? Tell me more”

It’s an easy fix.

But it makes all the difference – to your chat, to the outcomes following it, and to how much you both enjoy it.

Action Point

In your very next conversation, do your best to say “tell me more”. And guess what? They’ll probably tell you more!

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