No matter what work you do, with a galaxy of friends or family around you, the quality of your life will be enhanced with good conversation. Conversation is an exchange of ideas by people willing to learn and laugh at each other. Good conversation makes life more valuable. Enhance the relationships that you touch with eloquence, ideas, and brilliant words.
Some of us snooze through sessions of minimal conversation. When people converse well, the soul is partly exposed, and the feeling of appreciation lifts us. I know that when I converse well, my mind buzzes with the joy of real connection. I believe that some people do not share this feeling regularly.
I’ve tried to lift the conversation level with my family. I took my kids to dinner Friday – when I say “kids,” understand that both of them are adults. I told my family to leave their game systems at home. I wanted to have the chance to converse with them. My kids agreed, yet I could sense the resistance. I brought my cell phone with me and did NOT turn it on during the dinner. That was my plan, and I kept to it.
There was some discomfort. My wife and daughter started speaking at the same time. Carolyn kept talking (she is hard of hearing) and my daughter retreated into silence. My son was outraged, telling Carolyn and me that we had both cut off our daughter (I don’t remember my infraction, but that’s not the point.) With anger in his voice, he accused us of hypocrisy, “You said that you wanted to have a real conversation with us, but you cut off Jasmine!” His anger was great. He accused us of being phony – “we should have brought our handheld games!”
I listened. I encouraged my daughter to speak up. I don’t know why I generated this anger, but I want to have real conversation time with my kids. I did not refute his claims of hypocrisy, but I felt good that we ended friendly and listened.
Seek out good conversation. You will exercise the social part of your mind and may increase your emotional intelligence in the process. You will certainly come to appreciate the value of the friends and family in your life, and the reverse is also true. A conversation will bring you unexpected pleasures and new opportunities. Approach conversations with interest and an open mind, you may discover a richer life is your reward.
Steve Broe is an executive coach and author. He lives in Scottsdale Arizona. He answers the question, “How does leadership help people become successful?” in his new book, Leading the Way Up Mt. Olympus, now available on Amazon.