Real conversation cannot happen if listening is just my waiting for you to finish talking -Alan Alda


Having an authentic conversation with another is not as common as you might consider. When communicating with someone, there is often the exchange of stories versus actually engaging the other in a heartfelt connection that builds on each other’s sharing.


We have all been guilty of interacting with someone and having a comment from them trigger a response in your thoughts that feels necessary to say. From that trigger moment, we will only half listen to the other person and spend our focus waiting for a moment to jump in with our input rather than actually listen to what the other person is saying.


The link below is an excellent article that discusses the pitfalls of “waiting to jump in” versus authentically engaging another in meaningful and fulfilling discourse.  In the helping and healing professions, the latter is vital to the healing of the clients.


It provides guidance on how to effect interactive and conscious communication by developing such habits as :


  • Practicing empathic listening
  • Verifying what you are hearing
  • Asking what the other wants from the conversation
  • Clarifying if you are ‘matching’ or ‘topping’ in an interchange
  • Giving your talking time limits
  • Inviting you to focus on what you don’t know and ask questions


Enjoy the read!


Once you have read the article, make it a habit to engage in effective conversation with others using some of these guidelines and observe how the nature of your connection with others changes!

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