Creating Awareness of Our Conversations

Meaning of a conversationConversations are how we participate in and change the world.  The Latin form of the word is “conversare”. Con means “with” and versare means “to turn”. 

So conversation means to turn with, or to turn together.  This creates a type of dance between two individuals moving as one unit.

Awareness of Our Conversations:

Having an awareness of our conversations can help us improve the way we interact and coordinate with others. We can purposefully have a conversation or choose not to have a conversation if the results may not create the experience we would like to create.  The types of conversations we participate in set the context for what can and cannot be accomplished.

Let’s take a closer look at an example of one type of conversation.

Conversations for stories and personal assessments:

  • We speak the story we have constructed about what happened and why.
  • Within our story is how it should and should not be and how it could be.

 The advantage to this type of conversation is:

  • Being able to tell our story and get things off our chest can shift our emotions.
  • Speaking our concerns helps us see past them to what we can begin to do to take action.
  • This allows us to speak our heart and be heard and validated. This is an important part of being human and the reason friendships are so valuable.
  • Can be a foundation for moving on and for learning.
  • Others can question our stories leading us to develop other perspectives.

The disadvantage to this type of conversation is:

  • Beyond a certain point our stories perpetuate the situation, and can keep us stuck.
  • This is the conversation of excuses.  If we are late to lunch, we might have a story about traffic or an interruption that happened as we were leaving home.
  • This type of conversation can degenerate into “whining or bitching”.  This can be very entertaining but not very powerful.
  • This is also the place that gossip comes from.  This can be destructive to not only the person in the story, but also to the speaker and audience, limiting perceptions of what is possible.

 Are your conversations creating the results you want?

Asking yourself these two questions can be a guide to a more powerful way of having a conversation for your story:

  1. For the sake of what am I telling this story?
  2. What and whose concerns will be taken care of by relating the story.

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