Take a moment to remember a time when another person really “got” you. Let yourself bask in the feeling.
What did you enjoy about it?
In my workshops I hear people say they feel safe, satisfied, elated, grateful and most of all, connected to the other person. Our deepest experiences of intimacy and trust happen over time. We have to see people in a variety of situations and understand how they show up to really develop trust. And yet, enjoyable intimate connection can happen in social settings where we may never see this person again.
My Top Four Tips for Meaningful Conversations:
1. BE CURIOUS!
What makes you tick? That’s the basic question in my mind and heart. Ask open-ended big questions. Someone tells you they just got back from Turkey. Ask what’s the best thing for you about traveling? Or, how did that trip affect you? Adapt this to whatever the topic is- being retired, or being a nurse, being in third grade. There are so many great questions waiting to be asked!
2. Listen underneath the details to what inspires and motivates people
I was talking with a retired veterinarian at an art reception and she described the most difficult part of her job as diagnosing animals because they cannot talk to her. She shared how meaningful it was for her touching animals and receiving their responses as clues to figure out what was going on. I came away with a sense of her as an extremely patient and sensitive person.
3. Reflect back what you’re hearing
It sounds like ____________ is important to you. Fill in the blank: “using your intuition,” “empowering your patients,” “the process of creating.” Listen for the bigger picture needs they are meeting by doing what they do, whether it’s playing golf or gardening.
4. Acknowledge and appreciate the person
“What a great conversation- thank you for sharing about yourself!” Share what you enjoyed about it. It’s a gift when people reveal what makes them tick. I always walk away from these conversations with people inspired by our heart connection and enjoying the sense of understanding more about humanity in general.
Let’s go forth and bring the world alive
with meaningful and touching conversations!