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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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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.

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 ...

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. 

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.

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.

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

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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