• Curiouser and curiouser

    Intentionally engaging until we find it interesting “I can see that my digging into things that didn’t seem interesting at first glance, has yielded terrific results: Learning, surprise, and happiness to name just three. And not just for myself, but for others too.” It’s surprising how many things become interesting once I spend enough time…

  • Without purpose or agenda

    Choosing a direction towards what you don’t know “We want to avoid being drawn toward what we understand. In that direction lies the temptation to summarize and finish.” In a conversation we can feel the urge to have a purpose in the form of a goal we are trying to reach, and we can feel…

  • Roles

    An actions-based perspective “When something feels off, we can consider which roles are present in the moment. Am I being a mover, and my guest a follower? Or are they perhaps being an opposer?” During a conversation we sometimes sense that it could be better. We might be aware that we are confused, disappointed, or…

  • Having an open posture

    What intention might you try setting for your next conversation? “I don’t simply day-dream about my intentions when it’s convenient. I consider different intentions, choose explicitly, and then work to carry that intention into a conversation.” Our urge to hide influences us in subtle ways. If we feel we can’t control another’s thinking (in truth…

  • Resources of others

    In conversation we can help others be their best selves. “Focusing on these small things frees me from trying to imagine what is the big picture we’re creating.” There are so many things we could pursue in any conversation: Learning, discovery, helping our partner, even fame. So it’s wise to pick something to use as…

  • Being genuine

    Releasing preconceptions can lead to delight. “We have little chance of being creative if we know, or think we know, where things are headed.” In conversation we find tension within ourselves from our competing desires to lead and to follow. For genuine connection to develop, we must release our preconceptions of who the other person…

  • Power of vistas

    Encountering vistas changes us. ” “What do we want to create together?” presents a vista. We figuratively stand here and now with our partner, and we look forward to the future.” We can change ourselves and our partners in conversation by presenting a vista. Read the article…

  • Generous silence

    Silence can be an active process of giving. “When we choose silence, we’re giving the other person our own time to process their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without feeling rushed or judged.” Silence is not simply waiting to speak; it can be an active process of giving. There is so much that can be conveyed…

  • Normal conversations too

    Getting better at conversation is not just for special conversations. “My goal is simply to make every conversation I have better than yesteryear-me would have done with it.” To improve, we have to decide first how we’d like our conversations to be different. Improving our (and those we converse with’s) sense of connection is a…

  • Profound silence

    How do we decide which silences to fill? “We should sit with the silence for a few beats when we find ourselves admiring something profound. Profound silence is too rare.” It’s important to understand what’s appearing in our conversation as it happens. We can have a flow of thought between us, or we can have…