The 7 Components of a Constructive Conversation

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

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.


Key Ideas

Save all ideas

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.


"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 opportun...

Educator Paul Barnwell



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.



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


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 ...



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.”&nbs...



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 a...


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.



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 eve...



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,  ...


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.

3 more ideas

Using too much jargon

When you constantly take over normal words and use them in odd ways to make them sound "businessy", people will most likely roll their eyes.

Stick to using words as they're defined ...


Unoriginal expressions used so frequently that they've actually lost meaning like  "out-of-the-box thinking" could reveal a lack of respect for the listener.

Avoid metaphors completely or use original ones. If that's too hard, tweak the wording of clichés to make them less cliché-ish.


Using big, impressive sounding words rather than smaller, common ones can leave listeners with the impression that you're pompous and pretentious.

The fix, in this case, is a big dose of humility. 

5 more ideas

Self-created struggles

See life as it is, without all the ideals and fantasies you’ve been preoccupied with.

The vast majority of our struggles are self-created, and we can choose to overcome them in an instant.

Fearing judgment from others

We fear the judgments of others, even though their judgments about us are rarely valid or significant.

Tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality because people judge us based on a pool of influences in their own lives that have absolutely nothing to do with us.

Past experiences

In many ways, our past experiences have conditioned us to believe that we are less capable than we are.

We need to learn from the past, but also to be ready to update what we learned based on how our circumstances have changed.

4 more ideas