A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you walked away from it thinking about how great of a conversation you had. On the other hands, have you ever had conversations with people and walked away totally drained and thinking, “Wow, I just wasted an hour of my life.” I’ve experienced both.
The older I get, the more I appreciate great conversations and the more I dread unintentional ones. I’ve learned that great conversations must be intentional and they are a skill you can develop. Here are some things I have learned about great conversations:
- Make You Think About Your Life – Conversations about where you’re going in life, what you’re learning, what you could be doing better, where you are struggling, etc.
- Move Beyond Fluff – Enough about talking about the weather and what clothes you bought at the mall! Let’s talk about real life!
- Encourage Accountability – Do you have relationships in which you can talk about absolutely anything? Relationships where your friends and family can call you out on anything they see in you that shouldn’t be there? If so, you are blessed. You won’t find better relationships and conversations than the ones in which you are able to be totally vulnerable and still have the confidence to know that the person you’re opening up to will walk you through the battle.
- Cause You to Grow – The times I’ve grown the most in life are times when people have had hard conversations with me that challenged me to climb higher. Conversations that raised the standards I held for myself. Conversations that wouldn’t let me settle for the status quo.
- Create Great Memories – “Remember that conversation when you challenged me, that changed my life forever. If you wouldn’t have had that conversation with me, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” What a great memory. Few things are more fulfilling than having these moments or knowing you had a part in them for someone else.
Keys to Great Conversations:
- Be Intentional – You should have an agenda for every conversation you have with someone who you meet with or spend time with. You don’t need to have a print out and hand it to them, but make sure you know what you want to talk about and what questions you want to ask beforehand!
- Ask Great Questions – Make a list of great questions that create great conversations. Some of my favorites: What are your goals? What are you working on that is big? What are you dreaming about? What are you learning? What are you reading? What has been the highlight of your year? What are you struggling with? What can I pray for you for? How can I help you?
Are the majority of your conversations with people intentional or are they unintentional?
Are you intentional with family at the dinner table? Friends over coffee?
What could you do to be more intentional with your conversations?
Who are you planning on meeting with in the next month and how can you ensure you have quality conversations?
What are some other qualities of great conversations?
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