Conversations

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How often do we converse with someone we “intuit” might be quite different from our own standards, belief systems or arenas of comfort?

I was in a small local bakery the other day and at the first of my chatting with the baker, we were alone. While she was putting up my order, someone else came in and sat at the only tiny table – with two chairs. He asked a question which clearly was not intended for the baker. No one answered and as my back was to him, I turned and asked if he was talking to me. With a large non-threatening smile, he said, “Who else?” And so began a conversation that would never have happened without “an” overture.

ConversationsAt gatherings intended as mixers, we are more apt to interact with people we don’t know. In circumstances where we need help, we must share information and ask questions. But how often do we simply extend ourselves really wanting to hear the other person’s answer and respond to their thoughts rather than pursuing our own line of thinking?

Imagine what we might learn if we ask thoughtful questions and really listen to their comments. Then, follow up on “their” ideas instead of our own. We might learn something new, or be persuaded to change our point of view.

WOW, free and ongoing education.

Showing 8 comments
  • Ginny Lockhart
    Reply

    Yes! If only we listened, really listened, and put others ahead of ourselves.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      The rest of today, the rest of this week, the rest of our lives: really listening can be one of our intentional goals.

  • Linda Miler
    Reply

    I never meet a stranger. I can start a conversation with just about any one. Recently met a couple from Israel, who was in front of our Post Office taking pictures. Very interesting conversation and was so happy to meet them. You never know who you will meet and what they have to teach unless you engage. The people I pick up the negative from, sometimes I will still try to initiate conversation. If they do not want to talk, I don’t push it….
    but so little face to face communication goes on nowadays, it is refreshing to meet new people… I hope that never changes about me. Great topic.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      A lovely thought – “I never meet a stranger.” They are no longer a stranger once thoughtfully engaged. And you are quite right – less and less time is spent in face to face communication. We have been schooled to be wary of people we don’t know. Applause to you for your important message to us all.

  • kenn speiser
    Reply

    This reminds me of a short story #3, written by Ian Fleming in his book FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, titled Quantum of Solace.

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Thanks for the book tip, Kenn. I will have to look it up.

  • Bette Abdu
    Reply

    Just after reading this post I discovered a Curio post. It is a post from Justin Kitch of Curious.com about his mentor Bill Campbell.
    Bill was a ‘coach’ to many CEOs and entrepreneurs. Regarding why he was so successful Justin says: “I will tell you my theory: Bill connected with virtually every single person he ever met in this world.”
    Take 8 minutes to read this
    https://medium.com/@ceounplugged/what-i-learned-from-bill-campbell-b69ed4b99dfb#.sbdc0naby

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      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Thank you Bette. I just took the 8 minutes and they were well spent. I appreciate your pointing out this article to all our readers.

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