Storms on Saturn (In Defense of Better Conversation)
Most people are in one of two states during any given conversation.
1. On Standby
This means I’m waiting to talk. Waiting for that pregnant pause where it’s essentially “okay to interrupt”. For the moment when the conversation cadence allows for talking over the other person. I’m just entering the conversation, right?
It’s my turn to say what I need to say.
What I must say.
What may be the most important part of this conversation, or the most important ever said.
It’s my turn to filibuster this conversation with my story. My opinion. My perspective. Then I I make the mistake of pause. Someone else takes over, and I politely allow it because that’s how conversations work. But I’m circling this thing again, waiting on standby for the next opportunity to jump in.
And I have little to no idea what you’re talking about.
2. On Saturn
This conversation doesn’t really concern me. What you have to say isn’t important. At least no to me right now. I’m thinking about other, much more important matters. Your lips are moving but I can’t hear a word you’re saying as I gaze politely past your left ear at whatever it is that’s happening behind you. We are in this room together.
But I’m more concerned about storms on Saturn than with what you’re saying right now.
So keep talking. I’m someplace else.
Conversation, listening, and engagement is a discipline and a skill.
Listen more than you speak.
Take a genuine interest in others.
Ask questions for understanding.
Make application to your life, community, business, and family.
Communication and conversation are not faceless, soul-less obligation.