How to have Powerful Conversations
I’ve recently been creating ‘Powerful Conversations’ with people and it has dawned on me that most aren’t aware of what that is or how to have one. So I thought I’d help people understand what I believe a Powerful Conversation is and how you can then implement it for yourself.
The way I look at it is like this. In every conversation between 2 people there are actually 4 people…
The person who you ARE (in that moment)
The person who they ARE (in that moment)
The person you THINK you are talking to (based on past experiences)
The person they THINK they are talking to (based on past experiences)
Most of us know that when we are talking to our family or friends, what kind of responses or reactions we are going to get from them, so our conversations are pretty simple. We end up talking to the person we think we are talking to and they do they same. Low and behold the conversation goes exactly as we expected it to and we walk away thinking about how ’they’ll never change.’
I remember having a chat with a friend of mine a while back. He’s the kind of guy who feels like the world owes him for the hard work he’s put in and constantly rants about how his industry is full of ‘back stabbers’ and ‘the world is full of 4ssholes!’ We all know, or have known, similar people. Now I have no problem with this, however it is something that I started to associate that person with. This meant that whenever I spoke to him, I was almost waiting for the moment to affirm the type of person that I ‘think’ he is, instead of listening to him with curiosity.
Now can you imagine how frustrating that was!
The thing is that once I realised how I was perceiving this person, I could then change my thoughts about him. I was becoming more aware of how I was placing judgement on him before we had even spoken. So I could then start to truly listen to him and what he was saying and really helping him, as opposed to coming from a place where all I did was layering perception after perception of who I thought he was…
So I want you to try this next time you are having a conversation with a friend or family member. Turn it into a Powerful Conversation simply by listening and speaking with the person in front of you. Don’t second guess, judge or anticipate anything, just listen to them as they are in that moment. Be yourself in that moment, listening to them with curiosity. Allow and encourage them to be themselves – instead of talking to the person who you think they are.
Yes – it requires effort, but it’ll make a HUGE difference in your interactions and it will make you a MUCH more powerful conversationalist.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!