|on April 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm||filed under Empowered Awareness, Mindful communications, personal growth|
I just had a conversation with someone that stuck me as uncomfortable and odd for several reasons.
First, the person called to apologize for not supporting me adequately in the past after I had supported her efforts. I appreciated this, and yet it felt like she knew she had to preface her conversation with this acknowledgement before she could get to the real reason she called. Which was that she was calling to ask for me to support her again. Thirdly, it was all delivered in the language and tone of a tele-seminar sales call. You know the kind where they promise tons of content and keep telling you how much valuable content you’re getting, but in the end you’re left feeling very unsatisfied, like you just ingested air.
I did sense she was sincere in her apology and yet it was so odd that she waited until she wanted my support for something new to deliver this apology. I would have been happy to talk about this a bit more. Why it had happened, what new was going on in her life that inspired her to take care of such an integrity issue.
Delivered like this, there was a mismatch in messaging (apology plus salesy request) that was strange. There was no real connection from someone I know is capable of deep, meaningful connection. Yet, I must thank her because this call made me realize something very important: I’m not interested in these kinds of conversations anymore.
How to and How Not to Use Small Talk
Listen, I’m the gal who wrote Small Talk Savvy. I understand and appreciate all the things that surface conversations can do. Namely, create bridges to authentic exchanges of interesting topics and real-life experiences. There’s nothing wrong with small talk except when you try to use small talk to cover a more substantial topic. Small talk does not work well for apologies. Keeping it heart felt and simple does.
No matter who you converse talk with or small talk with remember you’re talking with a real person. If you’ve talked with the person before, a friendly “here’s an idea” I’m thinking about tone works well rather than a”scripted” tone. In my case the scripted tone totally threw me off since I had had enjoyable conversations with this person previously.
The Shift to Authentic Conversations
Authentic communications requires being vulnerable sometimes. Authentic communications doesn’t have a marketing script. This telephone call just happened to come at a time I’ve been thinking about how I really want to engage verbally with others. I’m interested in conversations that are:
1. Real. An hour before I got this call a friend who I hadn’t talked to for awhile (both busy trying to make our businesses succeed), phoned me. She called to tell me she closed her business, her sister had died and she had surgery. This was authentic revelation without any agenda. She wasn’t calling to get sympathy, she was calling to truly get caught up and that just happen to be the trajectory her life had taken.
She didn’t try to pretend everything was “fine.” There was no covering up or pretending. She knew she could share this authentically without fear of judgement or me rushing to get off the phone because it felt like too much to hear. We had a true heart to heart about how we were feeling about our lives and what our hopes are. That’s connection.
2. Deep. I love a little small talk, but if I know you and we have stuff in common, let’s go deeper. Let’s share struggles and triumphs. Everything is shifting on the planet more dynamically than ever before. That means not knowing what side is up all the time, not having it all figured out. That means being excited about the possibilities this presents and wanting to collaborate with others who sense big things are astir and they want to be part of change. Talk to me about any of that and we’re bound to have a fantastic, engaging and fun conversation! I think my clients appreciate that they feel safe bringing up anything.
3. Supportive. We’re engaged in conversation for the fun of it and to be there for each other. We can share our true feelings. We try to help each other and uplift one another through our connections. We leave the person feeling better after we’ve left the room or hung up the phone.
4. Passionate. We share our passions without judgments of each other or the turns our life paths take. Let’s laugh about the wonder of life and about the craziness of it! I apologize in advance if I talk over you, that’s as fast and furious as the thoughts and ideas are coming! It’s not polite and I’m working on it.
5. Collaborative. I’m truly interested in collaborating, in unifying our energies to brain storm, to dream, to problem solve, to share life stories, to plan exciting adventures, to create new possibilities, to be more dynamic and effective than we could ever be alone! Come to conversation with an authentic sense of what we can contribute to each others’ efforts –that there is real energy value to share and harmonize for everyone’s benefit.
I believe that now is the time to increasingly feel connected to one another. To appreciate who we are individually and to discover what kind of force for good in the world we can be together. Talk to me about that. Then we’ll each fully feel the the wonder of human connection, contribution and creation. That’s a conversation I always want to have.
What are the conversations you’re longing to have?
Melissa Wadsworth is a Certified Dream Coach®, Intuitive Dream Board Artist, Inspirational Speaker and Author. She guides evolutionary midlife makeovers for women at a crossroads, helping them to transition from Blocked to Brilliance™ for a life of full of purpose and passion. To access her complementary 11-day video course, How to Live the Life of Your Dreams Through Clarity, go to www.melissawadsworth.com