- Thoughts for inspired living

February 19, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:40 am

We all have lots of experience with conversation. It’s the method of communication used most, whether we’re talking, Facebooking, texting or emailing back and forth. Dialogue is the currency of communication.

The question becomes, Are we using Monopoly money or the real thing in conversation?

Here are the conversations I dislike the most – tit for tat, one-upsmanship, the last word, or who’s more clever? These are conversations that go nowhere, except the same place they always go – the land of no connection.

The Grasshopper showed up yesterday with this nip of nectar:

“A conversation is more fruitful when it’s more about discovery and less about what you know.”

If it’s just about what you know, put it in a book or record it on a CD and give it to somebody, rather than pretend you’re conversing when you’re simply conducting a monologue.

Each person in a conversation benefits more when they each discover something. The way to discover something in a conversation is to remain present. Most of us, when we start speaking have our attention on what we are saying rather than on the person we are talking with. This always leads to disconnection. Reminds me of the broadcasting business . . .

I can easily hear a broadcaster who’s communicating and one who’s not in a matter of about 3 seconds. When they are listening to their own voice rather than putting their attention on who they are communicating with, they are dull, boring, predictable and prone to speaking mistakes. The ones whose attention is on the people they are communicating with make a connection.

When I coach broadcasting talent, I use Barbara Walters as an example. I ask if they think she has a good speaking voice and, almost always, the answer in “No.” I then say she must be doing something well to be as successful as she’s been for all these years. What she does is communicate. The conversation goes somewhere. She isn’t focused as much on her question as she is in the response of the other person. She is in discovery mode.

Just because you are talking to someone doesn’t make it communication. The absent piece in most conversation is attention – attending to not only yourself but the other person as well.

Most peoples’ attention disappears when they begin speaking. They go into their speaking trance and pay no attention to what’s being received or not. If you know a person who blathers on, you can bet they have no attention on you and are discovering very little. Notice how empty you feel IF they ever stop talking. No communication happens when people are disconnected.

The next time you are in a conversation, pay attention and notice what happens. You’ll start to make discoveries. If you already know everything, continue not to notice while conversing and the only thing you’ll discover is that you are becoming a party of one.

You have the power of attention. Use it today and my promise is this: You’ll discover something new.

All the best,


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