The 7 Components of a Constructive Conversation - Deepstash

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The 7 Components of a Constructive Conversation

https://medium.com/the-ascent/the-7-components-of-a-constructive-conversation-f3598072a5b6

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The 7 Components of a Constructive Conversation
Labeling emotions means validating and acknowledging them. According to Voss, using rational words to describe emotions disrupts their raw intensity. The most effective labels of emotions start with phrases like: It seems like... you feel I don't pay attention to you anymore. It sounds like... you feel disappointed because he can do better.

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A constructive conversation

A constructive conversation

It transfers ideas from one mind to another and removes all obstacles from the way. Such a conversation feels as relaxing as a Sunday afternoon in your pajamas.

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"Conversational competence is the single most overlooked skill we fail to teach. Kids spend hours each day engaging with ideas and each other through screens, but rarely do they have an opportunity to hone their interpersonal communications skills…… Is there any 21st-century skill more important than being able to sustain coherent, confident conversation?"

Educator Paul Barnwell

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Listening

Listening

Listening is not hearing to respond. It’s hearing to understand. Effective listening helps you understand the other’s perspective and underlying feelings. It helps you hear what’s not said.

The ideal balance is to listen 60 percent and speak 40 percent of the time.

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Empathy

Empathy

It means you understand your counterpart’s feelings and hear what’s behind them.

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Labeling Emotions

Labeling Emotions

You don’t have to feel your counterpart’s emotions to understand them better. You can label them. It means validating and acknowledging them.

The most effective labels of emotions start with phrases like:

  • It seems like… you feel ...
  • It sounds like… you feel ...
  • It looks like… you’re worried that ...

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Summarizing

Summarizing

It means describing the world the way your counterpart sees it in your words.

An accurate summary makes your counterpart say “that’s right” instead of “you’re right.” “That’s right” means your counterpart feels heard AND understood.

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Brevity

Brevity

Excessive communication ends conversations before they begin.

Fewer words create a deeper impact. They let your counterpart absorb your words and think over them. And silence is also an important part of brevity.

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Building Mutual Ground

Building Mutual Ground

Constructive conversations are held on mutual ground, where the speaker uses analogies relevant to the listener to explain how things work from a broader perspective.

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Genuineness

Genuineness

We tend to trust people whose emotions are authentic, whose actions are in sync with their words.

Genuineness comes when you care about your counterpart and want the outcome to benefit everyone involved. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Emotions During a Difficult Conversation

It’s hard not to get worked up emotionally when you’re in a tense conversation: a disagreement can feel like a threat.

But if your body goes into “fight or flight” mode,  ...

Breathe

When you start noticing yourself getting tense, try to focus on breathing (on feeling the air coming in and out of your lungs).

This will take your attention off the physical signs of panic and keep you centered.

Focus on your body

Sitting still when you’re having a difficult conversation can make the emotions build up rather than dissipate. 

Standing up and walking around helps to activate the thinking part of your brain.

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Listening requires mental work

We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) re...

Mistakes we make in conversations

Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.

What makes a great listener

  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.

Be the last to speak

This way, you'll be able to hear your team’s true thoughts, which you can to use to inform the opinion you yourself deliver at the end of the conversation.

As a leader, if you speak f...

Shut down outside distractions

A key part of being a good listener is showing the speaker that he or she has your undivided attention. Close your laptop and put away your phone.

This gives those speakers the confidence to express themselves fully without feeling that they’re imposing on your time.

Mind your body language

7 percent of a message is conveyed through words. Body language plays a major role in how we communicate and how we listen.

When you’re listening, then, be aware of what your body language is saying to the speaker. Unfold your arms and be open to what this person has to say.