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Opinion | Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. -
Jan. 9, 2020 | The New York Times |

* By Kate Murphy, is the author of “You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.”

Listening can be more valuable than speaking. Wars have been fought, fortunes lost and friendships wrecked for lack of listening. It is only by listening that we engage, understand, empathize, cooperate and develop as human beings. It is fundamental to any successful relationship — personal, professional and political.....The sad truth is that people have more experience being cut off, ignored and misunderstood than heard to their satisfaction.....listening goes beyond simply hearing what people say. It also involves paying attention to how they say it and what they do while they are saying it, in what context, and how what they say resonates within you......It’s not about merely holding your peace while someone else holds forth. Quite the opposite. A lot of listening has to do with how you respond — the degree to which you facilitate the clear expression of another person’s thoughts and, in the process, crystallize your own.......Good listeners ask good questions......anyone can be interesting if you ask the right questions......ask truly curious questions that don’t have the hidden agenda of fixing, saving, advising, convincing or correcting. Curious questions don’t begin with “Wouldn’t you agree…?” or “Don’t you think…?” and they definitely don’t end with “right?” The idea is to explore the other person’s point of view, not sway it..........Avoid leading questions like, “Do you shop late a night because you didn’t get around to it during the day?” or “Do you shop at night because that’s when they restock the shelves?” Instead, she turned her question into an invitation: “Tell me about the last time you went grocery shopping late at night.” 
In social situations, avoid peppering people with judgmental, personal or appraising questions--questions that rank the other party in a social hierarchy.........Instead, ask about people about their interests. Try to find out what excites or aggravates them — their daily pleasures or what keeps them up at night [JCK: passions??] ..... ..........Because our brains can think a lot faster than people can talk, beware of the tendency to take mental side trips when you should be listening. Smart people are particularly apt to get distracted by their own galloping thoughts. They are also more likely to assume they already know what the other person is going to say..........The reward of good listening will almost certainly be more interesting conversations........it’s human nature to return courtesies .......listening to other people makes it more likely other people will listen to you.........Listening is a skill. And as with any skill, it degrades if you don’t do it enough.......each of us can become a better listener with practice. The more people you listen to, the more aspects of humanity you will recognize, and the better your instincts will be. Listening well can help you understand other people’s attitudes and motivations, which is essential in building cooperative and productive relationships, as well as discerning which relationships you’d be better off avoiding.......listening poorly, selectively or not at all limits your understanding of the world and prevents you from becoming the best you can be.
 books  Communicating_&_Connecting  contextual  conversations  courtesies  dining  family  independent_viewpoints  listening  passions  pay_attention  questions  relationships  skills  smart_people  social_hierarchy  tips 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
Your Vagina Is Terrific (and Everyone Else’s Opinions Still Are Not) - The New York Times
By Jen Gunter
Dec. 21, 2018

healthy conversation starts early on in the sexual encounter and may include “Tell me what’s working for you.” Or even better: “Show me what you like.”
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  gynecology  sexuality 
december 2018 by jerryking
How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross
Nov. 17, 2018 | The New York Times | By Jolie Kerr.

(1) “Tell me about yourself,” a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need.
(2) The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity.
(3) Be funny (if you can). “A good conversationalist is somebody who is fun to talk to,” she said. Ms. Gross, it’s worth noting, is very funny. If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.
(4) Preparation is key. “It helps to organize your thoughts beforehand by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and then reflecting on how you might answer,” think through where your boundaries are, so that you’re not paralyzed agonizing over whether you’re willing to confide something or not.”

In a job interview, organizing your thoughts by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and reflecting on how you might answer can help you navigate if things start to go badly.
(5) Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
(6) Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions. But if you’re going to, here’s how: Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.
(7) Terry pays attention to body language. Be like Terry.
(8) When to push back, and when not to.
body_language  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  curiosity  howto  humour  interviews  interview_preparation  job_search  preparation  tips  nonverbal  posture  ice-breakers  concision  Managing_Your_Career  pay_attention 
november 2018 by jerryking
Want to Seem More Likable? Try This
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

There’s an easy way to simultaneously coming off as more likable while working to build a deeper, more genuine connection with someone: Ask questions.

A study published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology analyzed getting-to-know-you conversations between platonic conversation partners, along with face-to-face speed-dating conversations, and found that in both settings “people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners.” (It even led to an increase in second dates among the speed-daters.)

Those follow-up questions, the study found, are especially helpful to increase how much we are liked because they show that we are listening sincerely and trying to show we care.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  ice-breakers  likeability  questions  listening  5_W’s  second-order  small_talk  follow-up_questions 
september 2018 by jerryking
3 Tips to Have Better Conversations
Sept. 16, 2018 | The New York Times | by By Tim Herrera

1. Know the three tiers of conversations
Tier one is safe territory: sports, the weather, pop culture, local celebrities and any immediate shared experience.

Tier two is potentially controversial: religion, politics, dating and love lives. “Test the waters, and back away if they’re not interested,” one expert told Jen.

Tier three includes the most intimate topics: family, finance, health and work life. “Some people love to talk about what they do and their kids, but don’t ask a probing question until the door has been opened,” said Daniel Post Senning, an etiquette expert and the great-great-grandson of Emily Post.

Note also that while “So, what do you do?” is a pretty common and acceptable question in America, in Europe it’s as banal as watching paint dry. Instead, ask “What keeps you busy?”

Debra Fine, a speaker and the author of “The Fine Art of Small Talk,” has another basic rule: “Don’t ask a question that could put somebody in a bad spot: ‘Is your boyfriend here?’ ‘Did you get into that M.B.A. program?’” Instead try: “Catch me up on your life” or “What’s going on with work for you?”
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  small_talk  tips  think_threes 
september 2018 by jerryking
Save Yourself From Tedious Small Talk - WSJ
By Sue Shellenbarger
Updated May 23, 2017

Only one in four people sees value in asking probing questions of strangers, based on a Contacts Count survey of 1,000 people. Doing so can be risky, says Lynne Waymon, the firm’s CEO and co-author of a book on networking. “I’m demanding more of you when I ask thought-provoking questions. I’m making an assumption that you’re in this conversation to make something of it—that you’re not going to see somebody across the room and say, ‘Oh, I need to go talk to Susan or Bob,’” she says. “But the connections you make are going to be much more dramatic and long-lasting.”
Sue_Shellenbarger  conversations  ice-breakers  questions  Communicating_&_Connecting  open-ended  small_talk 
may 2017 by jerryking
The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus - The New York Times
OCT. 13, 2015 | NYT | David Brooks.

The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals. Basically, the party abandoned traditional conservatism for right-wing radicalism. Republicans came to see themselves as insurgents and revolutionaries, and every revolution tends toward anarchy and ends up devouring its own.
By traditional definitions, conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible. Conservatives of this disposition can be dull, but they know how to nurture and run institutions....Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced....Politics is the process of making decisions amid diverse opinions. It involves conversation, calm deliberation, self-discipline, the capacity to listen to other points of view and balance valid but competing ideas and interests.

But this new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are regarded as aliens. Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal.
right-wing  David_Brooks  GOP  conservatism  Tea_Party  dysfunction  root_cause  Rush_Limbaugh  radicalization  mindsets  messiness  politics  compromise  rhetoric  listening  self-discipline  conversations  partisanship  political_polarization  partisan_warfare 
october 2015 by jerryking
The not-so-secret weapon to business success - The Globe and Mail
TONY GARERI
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015,
truth-telling  conversations  candour  stressful 
march 2015 by jerryking
Small words make a big difference: how to ask incisive usability questions for richer results | Loop11
abbreviated “ASK” – which helps me to focus on crafting constructive questions. Here it is:

A. Avoid starting with words like “Are”, “Do”, and “Have”. Questions that start with these type of verbs are a surefire way to nip insights in the bud. It can lead to what’s called a closed question, i.e. something that can literally close a conversation with a “Yes” or “No” answer. While it may be useful to gather this sort of data at times, try instead to open it up. Using open questions, as Changing Minds notes, gives us time to think, reflect, and provide opinions.
S. Start with W. The 5 W’s – i.e. who, what, when, where, and why – are the building blocks for information-gathering. It’s a tool from rhetoric, historically attributed to the Greeks and Romans. Essentially, the 5 W’s help us pull out the particulars. The magic behind them is that none of them can be answered with just a “yes” or “no”, so we’re always going to get a bit more of an expressive answer from subjects.
K. Keep it short. As researchers, we can often let curiosity get the best of us. Excited, we may list out a string of questions, asking more than necessary. By asking more than one question at a time, we ruin the focus of a conversation. We should try to keep our questions short and sweet, so that they may be digested more appropriately.
5_W’s  asking_the_right_questions  brevity  concision  conversations  focus  Greek  howto  incisiveness  insights  open-ended  questions  rhetoric  Romans  small_moves 
december 2014 by jerryking
Picking Your Workplace Battles - WSJ
By SUE SHELLENBARGER
Dec. 16, 2014

Many people avoid confrontations, says Dr. Shelley Reciniello, New York, an executive coach and psychologist. But simmering frustrations can come out in other ways, fostering passive-aggressive behavior such as slacking off or backstabbing...It’s important to weigh your ability to control your emotions during a confrontation and to manage any counterfire from your opponent....More than 4 out of 5 corporate employees have conflicts with other employees over priorities, misunderstandings, resources or personality differences...When picking a battle, it is important to be willing to offer a solution or work with others to find one....It’s better to avoid some kinds of battles altogether, such as disputes over someone’s personality or style,
Communicating_&_Connecting  conflicts  confrontations  conversations  emotional_mastery  Managing_Your_Career  managing_people  managing_up  misunderstandings  passive-aggressive  stressful  Sue_Shellenbarger  workplaces 
december 2014 by jerryking
Three tough conversations every leader must face - The Globe and Mail
SUMI KRISHNAN
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Monday, Dec. 01 2014,

Difficult discussion No. 1: Addressing opposition from your team As your company grows and adapts to new challenges, you’ll inevitably need to pivot your business strategy. But with change can come opposition.

Difficult discussion No. 2: Warning slacking virtual or part-time employees Despite the many benefits of working with virtual employees, falling into the trap of “out of sight, out of mind” can make it difficult to manage them effectively.

When employees aren’t accomplishing their tasks, it’s important that you don’t wait for them to self-correct. It’s easy to let too much time go by and suddenly find yourself buried beneath a mountain of issues. Instead, approach each challenge immediately. It will save you months of headaches.

Difficult discussion No. 3: Telling an employee and friend that she’s slacking It’s hard to work with family, but it’s just as hard to work with friends. When your employees become your good friends, oftentimes they’ll start to take your requirements or expectations for granted.
leaders  CEOs  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  candour  stressful  think_threes  dissension  difficult_conversations 
december 2014 by jerryking
‘Being Mortal’ Explores the Benefits of Setting Goals for Death - NYTimes.com
OCT. 6, 2014 | NYT |By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D.

Being Mortal
Medicine and What Matters in the End.
By Atul Gawande, M.D.
Metropolitan Books. 282 pages. $26. Credit Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

Another is the author’s palpable enthusiasm as he learns that many of the most difficult conversations doctors should have with their patients can be initiated with only a few questions. (What are your fears? Your hopes? The trade-offs you will and will not make?) One suspects a new checklist may be in the offing.
Atul_Gawande  books  book_reviews  stressful  conversations  end-of-life  tradeoffs  questions  medical_communication  difficult_conversations  checklists  what_really_matters 
october 2014 by jerryking
Physician and cancer survivor shares what cancer patients really want to hear - The Globe and Mail
GAYLE MACDONALD
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 27 2014

It was a scary and uncertain time for the St. John’s resident, but rather than wallow in self-pity as he underwent aggressive chemotherapy, he blogged about his cancer experience (which later became a CBC Radio miniseries). In March, he published The End of Suffering, a book of personal musings, to give hope to other cancer patients.... people dealing with cancer aren't looking for any pity or sympathy. They want normalcy and they want laughter.

What did cancer teach you about life, love and being a doctor?

Cancer taught me to be happy. Every day you stay miserable is a day wasted.

I think you find out who loves you most when the chips are down. It’s easy to love people when everything is going well, but the real enduring, beautiful love persists in the space of adversity.

As a doctor, it taught me that patients suffer and that suffering is what they want you, as a doctor, to remove. They don’t want you to give them a fancy diagnosis or an expensive drug.

What things should you not say to someone with cancer?

“What’s your prognosis?” Or more bluntly, are you going to live or die? I had someone ask me if I was going to die. I just kind of smiled at him and said, “Why, do you want my stereo?”

Healthy people should never give cancer patients health advice. There’s nothing worse than being sick and getting advice from the healthy, because it’s almost like insinuating you did something to make this happen to you.

Finally, don’t say, “Everything is going to be fine.” I don’t know I’m going to be fine. You don’t know I’m going to be fine. My doctor doesn’t know I’m going to be fine.

They mean well by saying that, but what they should say is, “I care about you and I want you to do well.”
bouncing_back  cancers  doctors  blogs  lessons_learned  advice  dying  conversations  stressful 
july 2014 by jerryking
How Not to Die
APR 24 2013 | The Atlantic | JONATHAN RAUCH.

What should have taken place was what is known in the medical profession as The Conversation. The momentum of medical maximalism should have slowed long enough for a doctor or a social worker to sit down with him and me to explain, patiently and in plain English, his condition and his treatment options, to learn what his goals were for the time he had left, and to establish how much and what kind of treatment he really desired. Alas, evidence shows that The Conversation happens much less regularly than it should, and that, when it does happen, information is typically presented in a brisk, jargony way that patients and families don’t really understand. Many doctors don’t make time for The Conversation, or aren’t good at conducting it (they’re not trained or rewarded for doing so), or worry their patients can’t handle it.

This is a problem, because the assumption that doctors know what their patients want turns out to be wrong: when doctors try to predict the goals and preferences of their patients, they are “highly inaccurate,” according to one summary of the research, published by Benjamin Moulton and Jaime S. King in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Patients are “routinely asked to make decisions about treatment choices in the face of what can only be described as avoidable ignorance,” Moulton and King write. “In the absence of complete information, individuals frequently opt for procedures they would not otherwise choose.”
end-of-life  medicine  dying  palliative_care  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  plain_English  clarity  doctor's_visits  medical_communication 
may 2014 by jerryking
Giving Good Praise to Girls: What Messages Stick
April 24, 2013 || MindShift |Katrina Schwartz |

This research suggests parents and educators should rethink what implicit and explicit messages are being sent to young girls about achievement.

If adults emphasize that all skills are learned through a process of engagement, value challenge and praise efforts to supersede frustration rather than only showing excitement over the right answer, girls will show resilience.... “Mother’s praise to their babies, one to three years of age, predicts that child’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later,” Dweck said. “It doesn’t mean it is set in stone, but it means that kind of value system — what you’re praising, what you say is important — it’s sinking in. And the kids who are getting this process praise, strategy and taking on hard things and sticking to them, those are the kids who want the challenge.” Dweck understands it isn’t easy to praise process and emphasize the fun in challenging situations. Kids like direct praise, but to Dweck lauding achievement is like feeding them junk food – it’s bad for them.

[RELATED READING: How Important is Grit in Student Achievement?]

An implicit argument here is that failure in small doses is good. [JCK: Nassim Nicholas Taleb's concept of antifragility] Dweck’s not the first person to make that argument; advocates of game-based learning say one of its strongest attributes lies in a player’s ability to fail and start over without being stigmatized. Students learn as they go, getting better each time they attempt a task in the game. But the current education system leaves little room for failure, and consequently anxious parents often don’t tolerate small setbacks either.

“If you have little failures along the way and have them understand that’s part of learning, and that you can actually derive useful information about what to do next, that’s really useful,” Dweck said.

She believes families should sit around the dinner table discussing the day’s struggles and new strategies for attacking the problem. In life no one can be perfect, and learning to view little failures as learning experiences, or opportunities to grow could be the most valuable lesson of all.
antifragility  appreciation  conversations  daughters  dining  failure  family  feedback  girls  grit  hard_work  parenting  persistence  praise  process-orientation  resilience  values  value_systems 
april 2014 by jerryking
Ten habits of the world’s best connection makers - The Globe and Mail
Scott Dinsmore

Young Entrepreneur Council

Published Friday, Jan. 10 2014,

1. Smile.
2. See friends, not strangers.
3. Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends.
4. Be genuine. If you’re connecting just because you want to get yourself further up the ladder, then you’ve already lost. There is only one type of connection — one you genuinely care about.
5. Contribute. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job or anything in between — there is a way to help everyone. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.
6. Pay attention. The easiest way to be interesting is to be interested.
7. Make people a priority.
8. Be open to conversation.
9. Know who you are and who you want in your life.
10. Be uniquely YOU.
attention  authenticity  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  friendships  habits  networking  pay_attention  people_skills  self-awareness  serving_others 
january 2014 by jerryking
How Doctors Die - Showing Others the Way - NYTimes.com
November 19, 2013 |NYT| By DAN GORENSTEIN

Patients and families often pay a high price for difficult and unscripted deaths, psychologically and economically. The Dartmouth Atlas Project, which gathers and analyzes health care data, found that 17 percent of Medicare’s $550 billion annual budget is spent on patients’ last six months of life.... “As a doctor you know how to ask for things,” he said. But as a patient, Dr. Billings said he had learned how difficult it can be to push for all the information needed. “It’s hard to ask those questions,” he said. “It’s hard to get answers.”

There is a reason for that. In his book “Death Foretold,” Nicholas A. Christakis, a Yale sociologist, writes that few physicians even offer patients a prognosis, and when they do, they do not do a great job. Predictions, he argues, are often overly optimistic, with doctors being accurate just 20 percent of the time.
hospice  dying  palliative_care  conversations  books  end-of-life  overoptimism 
november 2013 by jerryking
George Stephanopoulos on the Art of Conversation | Inc.com
October 2013| Inc. magazine| by Burt Helm

1. Prepare extensively. Good preparation leads to better questions. It also demonstrates a genuine interest, Stephanopoulos says. “Knowing what you’re talking about breeds respect on both sides,” he says. Before a 2009 interview about health care with President Barack Obama, Stephanopoulos prepared extensively to show his guest he had deep knowledge of the subject.

2. Don’t be a know-it-all. After all that prep work, you might feel like an expert. But keep things simple by starting with direct, open-ended questions. Then, use your knowledge to get your subject to expand on pat answers. “I used to try to show off how much work I did,” Stephanopoulos says. “But sometimes it was all wind-up and no question.”

3. Ask “Why?” Ask “What do you do?” at a cocktail party, and people go on autopilot. Ask “Why?” and people give fresher, more thoughtful answers. The same is true for television interviews, Stephanopoulos says.

4. Watch for facial cues. During a conversation, facial cues can indicate if someone wants to say more or less about a topic. For instance, Stephanopoulos says he can tell someone is having a new thought when his or her eyes light up. “You can see it more than you can hear it,” he says. Then, he guides the conversation in that direction.

5. Force yourself to be interested. If you’re bored by the person sitting across from you, your audience will be, too. The key is to find the one thing that does pique your curiosity. Stephanopoulos interviews a lot of actors, but he doesn’t always like their movies. His solution? He finds one scene that he finds remarkable for some reason and focuses on it.
conversations  preparation  George_Stephanopoulos  panels  Communicating_&_Connecting  open-ended  body_language  questions 
october 2013 by jerryking
How an endangered Walrus was saved - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

The Walrus is no longer just a magazine published 10 times a year; it is a multiplatform brand that finds expression in a tablet edition, a blog, podcasts, e-books, a series of short non-fiction films, speaking events and sometimes even a cruise through the Northwest Passage.

Each feeds the other, sometimes in spirit and promotional force (a podcast may offer a reporter’s reminiscences of grappling with a particular interview subject), and sometimes even financially: The events business, which will present about 30 live events this year, is now one of the primary sources of revenue.

(While other publications, such as The New Yorker, produce live events, those are usually brand-building exercises rather than major sources of revenue.)

The Walrus Foundation, the education-oriented charitable non-profit that publishes the magazine, procures corporate sponsorship, such as the one from RBC for an evening dedicated to conversation about philanthropy.
brands  conferences  content  conversations  endangered  events  Ideacity  magazines  multiplatforms  nonprofit  Simon_Houpt  sponsorships  TED  Walrus 
september 2013 by jerryking
An invitation to eat, think and be wary -
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT
The Grano Speakers Series brought the world to Toronto. Launched in the fall of 2004 with a season of discussions about The American Empire – William Kristol was its opening speaker – it quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town....The idea was hatched in the summer of 2004. Rudyard Griffiths, then the executive director of the Dominion Institute, and Patrick Luciani, a former executive director of the Donner Canadian Foundation, were chatting with Roberto Martella, the proprietor of the North Toronto trattoria Grano, when they began commiserating over a shared frustration of modern life.

Rudyard Griffiths: All of us were tired of the hotel ballroom speech: the Cornish hen and the not-so-great wine, and 500 or 800 people packed into these horrible tables of 10. The idea the three of us came up with was, let’s really blow up that model and try to do something different that gets back to the insight of the salon in the 19th century, which was: good conversation, intimate group, intimate setting.
Simon_Houpt  restaurants  Toronto  Rudyard_Griffiths  speeches  salons  ideacity  TED  conversations  19th_century 
september 2013 by jerryking
How to Be a Better Conversationalist - WSJ.com
August 12, 2013, 10:16 p.m. ET

How to Be a Better Conversationalist
Good Small Talk Makes Us Likable, But It's Easy to Get Rusty—How to Avoid Dominating and Being Dominated in a Conversation

By
ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  Elizabeth_Bernstein  small_talk 
august 2013 by jerryking
What to Say to a Friend Who's Ill - WSJ.com
April 12, 2013 | WSJ | By LETTY COTTIN POGREBIN.
The following are 10 Commandments for Conversing With a Sick Friend.

1. Rejoice at their good news. Don't minimize their bad news. A guy tells you that the doctors got it all, say "Hallelujah!" A man with advanced bladder cancer says that he's taking his kids to Disneyland next summer, don't bite your lip and mutter, "We'll see." Tell him it's a great idea. (What harm can it do?)..."Tell me what I can do to make things easier for you—I really want to help."

2. Treat your sick friends as you always did—but never forget their changed circumstance. Speak to them as you always did (tease them, kid around with them, get mad at them) but indulge their occasional blue moods or hissy-fits. Most important, start conversations about other things (sports, politics, food, movies) as soon as possible and you'll help speed their journey from the morass of illness to the miracle of the ordinary.

3. Avoid self-referential comments. A friend with a hacking cough doesn't need to hear, "You think that's bad? I had double pneumonia."...The truest thing you can say to a sick or suffering friend is, "I can only try to imagine what you're going through."

4. Don't assume, verify. Repeat after me: "Assume nothing."

5. Get the facts straight before you open your mouth.Did your friend have a heart or liver transplant? Chemo or radiation? Don't just ask, "How are you?" Ask questions specific to your friend's health. "How's your rotator cuff these days?" "Did the blood test show Lyme disease?" "Are your new meds working?" If you need help remembering who has shingles and who has lupus, or the date of a friend's operation, enter a health note under the person's name in your contacts list or stick a Post-it by the phone and update the information as needed.

6. Help your sick friend feel useful. Zero in on one of their skills and lead to it. Assuming they're up to the task, ask a cybersmart patient to set up a Web page for you; ask a bridge or chess maven to give you pointers on the game; ask a retired teacher to guide your teenager through the college application process. In most cases, your request won't be seen as an imposition but a vote of confidence in your friend's talent and worth.

7. Don't infantilize the patient. Never speak to a grown-up the way you'd talk to a child. Objectionable sentences include, "How are we today, dearie?" "That's a good boy." "I bet you could swallow this teeny-tiny pill if you really tried." And the most wince-worthy, "Are we ready to go wee-wee?" Protect your friend's dignity at all costs.

8. Think twice before giving advice.Don't forward medical alerts, newspaper clippings or your Aunt Sadie's cure for gout. Your idea of a health bulletin that's useful or revelatory may mislead, upset, confuse or agitate your friend. Sick people have doctors to tell them what to do. Your job is simply to be their friend.

9. Let patients who are terminally ill set the conversational agenda.If they're unaware that they're dying, don't be the one to tell them. If they know they're at the end of life and want to talk about it, don't contradict or interrupt them; let them vent or weep or curse the Fates. Hand them a tissue and cry with them. If they want to confide their last wish, or trust you with a long-kept secret, thank them for the honor and listen hard. Someday you'll want to remember every word they say.

10. Don't pressure them to practice 'positive thinking.' The implication is that they caused their illness in the first place by negative thinking—by feeling discouraged, depressed or not having the "right attitude." Positive thinking can't cure Huntington's disease, ALS or inoperable brain cancer....As one hospice patient put it, "All I want from my friends right now is the freedom to sulk and say goodbye."
bad_news  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  difficult_conversations  dignity  etiquette  hospice  ice-breakers  illness  positive_thinking  stressful  tension 
april 2013 by jerryking
The art of powerful conversations - Stuart Knight
How do you make people feel?
People respond to people they like.
Mentor --> chance to mentor another function.
Learn something new
Meaningful to them.

Find out what you have in common
(1) New
(2) Memorable
(3) Relevant to them
(4) Meaningful
(5) Fun.

Part 2 questions: Ask why to get the true story on the table.
Be vulnerable--being authentic encourages other to be equally meaningful. Opens to door to powerful conversations. Telling people how you truly feel encourages others to meet you half-way.

Tip (1) Eye contact. Make the other person feel as though they are being heard.

A powerful conversation is not a conversation that doesn't lead to change.
A powerful conversation a day helps you.
A powerful conversation (1) helps you to discover something new about the individual, the real person.
(2) Allows the person to share something meaningful about their life.
(3) Find out what you have in common.
(4) Makes it memorable for that person.
(5) Makes you likable and fun.
conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  motivations  questions  follow-up_questions  Stuart_Knight 
november 2012 by jerryking
You Should Have Asked - The Art of Powerful Conversation
No matter what you want from life you need people. It’s people who lead us to our next big adventure, dream job, important sale, long lasting business relationships, and the incredible ideas that shape our lives. They choose to do these things based on the way we make them feel one powerful conversation at a time. After speaking with you, do people feel interesting, important and appreciated? Do they feel connected, empowered and enlightened? Or was it just another moment where two people exchanged words, while missing out on the opportunity of what comes from a blazing dialogue? You Should Have Asked – The Art of Powerful Conversation will transform your daily interactions into moments that will give you greater wisdom and deeper meaning, while building exciting relationships with the people in both your professional and personal life.

Give eye contact. make other people feel as though they are being heard.
Being vulnerable. Telling people how you truly feel. being authentic encourages other people to meet you half-way. This opens the door to powerful conversations (opportunity to talk about something truly meaningful).
(1) Discover something new about the individual.
(2) Allow the person to share something meaningful about their life.
(3) Find out what you have in common.
(4) Make it memorable to that person.
(5) Make yourself likeable and have fun.

ENTER STAGE LEFT:PART TWO QUESTIONING
Part Two Questioning
is the quickest way to get to the core of who a person truly is.It’s the easiest and one of the most effective things you can do to create powerful conversations. Are you ready for the secret? All you have to do is ask questions on the answers you have just been given.

These questions are normal and in fact I use them myself to start a conversation. The problem arrives about one second after the person has answered the Stock Question. After asking a Stock Question, most people make one of two mistakes. The first mistake made is they ask a mediocre follow-up question. The second mistake made is they ask a brand new question entirely.The smallest shift can make the biggest difference. Talk to women about the female orgasm and they will confirm this to be true!
conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  mistakes  questions  quizzes  second-order  small_talk  5_W’s  Stuart_Knight  small_moves  follow-up_questions 
november 2012 by jerryking
A conversation that translates
June 7, 2012 | The Financial Times pg. 14 | Philip Delves Broughton.
(Pass on to Abdoulaye DIOP)
For global companies, creating an approach to risk that resonates across cultures can be a challenge, writes Philip Delves Broughton

Risk is a risky word. Already prone to misinterpretation among people who share a language and a culture, the difficulties multiply dangerously when it moves across borders.

What a Wall Street trader might define as moderately risky may seem downright insane to a Japanese retail broker; what an oil pipeline engineer in Brazil might characterise as gung-ho may appear overcautious to his revenue-chasing chief executive in London....The greatest pitfalls in managing risk across borders, he says, emerge from assuming too much. When dealing with fellow English speakers, it is easy to imagine that a shared language means shared assumptions - that the English, Americans and Australians think the same thing because they are using the same words.... Tips for managing risk across borders

Context is more important than language. Understand what matters most in the markets where you are doing business. Is it the law, logic or maintaining relationships?

Every word comes with its own "metadata" in different cultures. Be as specific as you can and never assume you have been properly understood without checking for potential misunderstandings.
cultural_assumptions  risks  risk-management  Communicating_&_Connecting  globalization  organizational_culture  transactions  national_identity  Philip_Delves_Broughton  translations  assumptions  misinterpretations  contextual  metadata  specificity  crossborder  cross-cultural  misunderstandings  interpretation  conversations  risk-assessment  words  compounded  risk-perception  multiplicative 
september 2012 by jerryking
Hate Small Talk? These 5 Questions Will Help You Work Any Room
07-27-2012 | Fast Company | BY Allison Graham.

Questions to get the conversations flowing:

"What’s your connection to the event?"

"What’s keeping you busy when you’re not at events like this or at work?" .

"Are you getting away this summer?"

"Are you working on any charity initiatives?"

"How did you come to be in your line of work?"
ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  networking  small_talk 
july 2012 by jerryking
Three tips to improve your listening skills - The Globe and Mail
1. Show respect: To run a complex organization, you must solicit advice from all corners. Let everyone know that you are open to their viewpoints. Being respectful doesn’t mean avoiding tough questions; good listeners routinely ask them to uncover the information they need. “The goal is ensuring the free and open flow of information and ideas,” he writes.

2. Keep quiet: Your conversation partner should be speaking 80 per cent of the time while you limit yourself to about 20 per cent. To make your speaking time count, ask questions that point the other party in the right direction. “That’s easier said than done, of course – most executives are naturally inclined to speak their minds. Still, you can’t really listen if you’re too busy talking.”

3. Challenge assumptions: Good listeners seek to understand and challenge the assumptions beneath the surface of the conversation. Take a tip from baseball manager Earl Weaver, who titled his autobiography It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts.
listening  McKinsey  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  tips  questions  assumptions  respect  hard_questions 
may 2012 by jerryking
Tips for asking better questions
Converse, don't interrogate - distinguishes how to exchange with a mentor vs a peer. Offer my own thoughts as away of encouraging a real conversation. Give intelligence to others as this will nudge them to reciprocate.
Adjust the lens - when trying to make a decision, ask wide questions to identify the criteria to be used (5 W's), ask narrow questions to identify the weight to be assigned to each. Narrow questions invites specific, often factual answers about the specific area of inquiry--and nothing else.
Frame and prime - construct the question in multiple ways for high quality intelligence
Follow up and probe - to gain better intelligence beyond a single question
Reid_Hoffman  tips  LinkedIn  Communicating_&_Connecting  questions  conversations  follow-up_questions  adjustments  generosity  wide-framing  narrow-framing  5_W’s 
march 2012 by jerryking
How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About
Edited byAnthony J. Colleluori.

The secret at the heart of a good conversation is to listen and do very little of the talking, apart from encouraging the other person to open up.
howto  conversations  ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2012 by jerryking
Tongue-Tied When Networking? - WSJ.com
June 6, 2006 | WSJ | By PERRI CAPELL.

Question: Most advice on networking doesn't say what I should talk about with people I contact. Do people just call each other up and say, "Hi, how are things going these days?" Please provide some input on this.

Answer: relationships are easiest to develop when you have something in common with the other person. Find commonalities that you can build on before you meet or pick up the telephone. You may know some of the same people or you may be in the same professional organization. Then send a written note or an email to the person about why you'd like to meet, or ask your mutual friend to make an introduction, says Ms. Wier. When you do connect, you'll have a foundation for your conversation. "People get tongue-tied when there is no basis for a relationship," she says.

You may not get job leads, referrals or other help you want in the beginning. As with any good relationship, the rewards usually come later on. Just be genuine and focus on how you can help the other party. "People have very unrealistic expectations of networking," says Diane Darling, a communications trainer and author in Boston....
start conversations by asking the other person questions about him or herself...If you're attending a party and don't know anyone, ask people how they know the host or how long they've lived in town. looking for a job."
ice-breakers  conversations  networking  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2012 by jerryking
Taking the Stress out of Stressful Conversations
July-August 2001 | HBR | Holly Weeks

A good start is to become aware of your own weaknesses to people and situations. Be aware of your vulnerabilities.

Start with content.....Go over it again and think about what you would say if the situation weren't emotionally loaded.... Now fine tune the phrasing.

The goal is to advance the conversation, to hear and be heard accurately, and to have a functional exchange between two people. So the next time you want to snap at someone,"Stop interrupting me," try this--"Can you hold on a minute? I want to finish before I lose my train of thought of thought," Temperate phrasing will help you take the strain out of a stressful conversation.
HBR  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  tension  anticipating  preparation  stressful 
march 2012 by jerryking
The Art of Conversation
November 19, 2005
Get outside yourself and focus on others. Know how to LISTEN!!!
To become a good conversationalist.
(1) Become invested in the conversation and actively work to help the other person feel comfortable. To this end, ice-breakers might include some of the challenges of your profession? your favourite thing to do on a rainy day? How mobile apps are affecting your life?.

A great opening question should elicit a response that is truly interesting. Ask,"what did you do today? "Start at the beginning and tell me exactly what happened from the time you work up?"
Leah_McLaren  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  etiquette  listening 
march 2012 by jerryking
How to have a conversation - FT.com
March 9, 2012 11:59 pm
How to have a conversation

By John McDermott
howto  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2012 by jerryking
Presenting Your Best Self
FEBRUARY 23, 2012 | WSJ | By CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN.

When Ms. Brown wants to meet someone who is already involved in a conversation, she generally hovers nearby, waiting for the person to notice she is waiting and invite her to join in. "If they're heavily into the talk and the conversation is pretty intense, then walk away and find another moment," she says. "I think it's rude to interrupt people when they're speaking—or just join in the conversation."

When you're meeting people, "a firm handshake is important," she says. "The last thing you need when you shake someone's hand is to feel them barely pressing your hand," she says, which conveys "a weak character." Too often, people forget basic manners, she says: It is important to look people in the eye and smile, and if you have someone with you, be sure to introduce that person.

As the conversation progresses, Ms. Brown employs "emotional intelligence" by asking questions, rather than talking about herself.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  etiquette 
february 2012 by jerryking
The secret to polite conversation - The Globe and Mail
SARAH HAMPSON | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011

That’s the thing about pleasant conversation. It’s a dance of fancy footwork, a minefield of social explosive devices to be avoided, the exact opposite of what the popular culture of confession and narcissistic Facebook commentary suggests is important. A good conversationalist has a feel for nuance; an understanding of grace; an ability to make careful entrees and gentle exits. He is not obsessed with his own status updates. And he’s adept at skilled deflections.

To make for happy party dynamics, you must demure at times, remain silent when necessary, nod, listen, dare to be conventional and find refuse in a discussion about the weather.

Rarely do you need to say exactly how you feel,
conversations  ice-breakers  Communicating_&_Connecting  etiquette  politeness  people_skills  grace  generosity  serving_others  nuanced  socially_graceful 
december 2011 by jerryking
Is the art of (salon) conversation dead? - The Globe and Mail
Katrina Onstad | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

A generation gap between those over 30 and their stylists isn’t surprising – healthy hands, artistry and long work hours are the stuff of youth – but it can amp up the awkwardness over what to talk about while stuck in the chair. Common ground doesn’t always come easy....“third places,” those potentially liberating establishments like coffee shops and bookstores that are neither home nor work and are the hubs of successful communities. They’re places where we are forced, for better or worse, to interact with people from different classes and backgrounds.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  listening  ice-breakers  Katrina_Onstad  third_spaces  generations 
december 2011 by jerryking
4 Tricks for More Efficient Phone Calls
October 4, 2011 | BNET |By Laura Vanderkam.
1. Protect your most productive time for focused work.

2. Don’t schedule long calls.

3. Suggest limited time windows.

4. Aim to be the one dialing.
conversations  telephones  Communicating_&_Connecting  tips  efficiencies  productivity 
october 2011 by jerryking
The Best Way to Introduce Yourself
July 18, 2011 | BNET | By Jeff Haden.
Embrace less is more. Brief introductions are always best. Provide
the bare minimum the other person needs to know, not in an attempt to
maintain distance but because you know during the conversation more will
be revealed in a natural, unforced, and therefore much more memorable
way.
Be appropriate. If you meet another parent at a school meeting, for
example, just say, “Hi, I’m Joe. My daughter is in third grade.” Keep
your introduction in context with the setting. If there is no real
context, like at a soccer game, just say, “Hi, I’m Joe. Hey, have fun.”
Under state. Unless you are in a business setting your job title is
irrelevant. If you’re the CEO of NextBigThing Technologies, just say you
work there. To err is human; to err humble is divine.
Focus on others. Your audience is the real audience. Ask questions.
Listen. The best connections never come from speaking; they always come
from listening.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  ice-breakers  networking 
july 2011 by jerryking
Why conversation is as important to a marriage as sex ProQuest
Nov 26, 2005. Globe & Mail. Judith Timson. Family
therapists have a keen sense of how pivotal everyday low-key
conversation is to a good marriage, they can sense when a husband and
wife still respect and listen to what the other says..."sex is very
important, but that mutual respect for your mate and what they think is
the most important. You don't have to agree on things -- as a matter of
fact, I think good conversation often comes from the disagreement,"
family therapist Diane Moody says...Psychiatrist Cathi Borsook, says
conversation "is perhaps the major way couples find closeness with each
other." If conversation doesn't happen, even on a banal and casual
basis, there's little intimacy on any level...adds therapist Diane
Moody, " good conversation is an adventure and you have to plan it a
little by reading and thinking. In that way, I can see that it can be
compared to sex -- it takes good communication, a wish to please, some
planning and some creativity to keep it alive."
ProQuest  Judith_Timson  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  respect  listening  marriage  relationships  intimacy  disagreements  low-key 
june 2011 by jerryking
In the age of social media, can we have some discourse? -
Jan. 07, 2011The Globe and MailJudith Timson. Conversation:
How Talk Can Change Our Lives, published in 2000 by British philosopher
and author Theodore Zeldin after a series of BBC talks. Educators and
conciliators love his key point, that a good conversation “involves
risk” because you enter it “with a willingness to emerge a slightly
different person.”....bring the attitude of questioning – “Why do you
think that?” – into discussions.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  books  risk-taking  Judith_Timson  questions  risks  public_discourse  disclosure  BBC  personal_risk 
march 2011 by jerryking
How to make small talk - The Globe and Mail
HADLEY DYER
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
the art of conversation is combining good technique with the right
attitude. (1) Arrive armed. Do your homework. Scan the headlines. (2)
Pay attention. “Sometimes listening is better than talking.”. (3) Give
and take. Seek a recommendation. Give a compliment. . “Say, 'That's a
beautiful jacket. Where did you get it?' (4) Wrap it up, gracefully. “I
don't like it when someone says, 'I'm going to the bar to replenish my
drink.' I think it's better to say, 'Would you like to come with me?’ ”
Mr. Hyndman says. “If they don't move on, at least you're in motion. You
might be able to include other people along the way and bring in some
new topics, because you've obviously run dry, but always be conscious of
not hurting their feelings.”
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  conversations  listening  small_talk  pay_attention 
march 2011 by jerryking
The Schmooze-Hater’s Guide to Better Networking
March 15, 2011 | BNET | By Tom Searcy |
(1) It’s not all about you. See if there is a way you can be of help to
others--be a great problem solver. Along the way good things will happen
for you, too.
(2) Set your goals, primary and back-up
(3) Ask good questions. # “What business problem does your company
solve?” “What is the best example you have of how you are doing that?” #
“What has been the biggest win for you/your company in the last six
months?”
(4) Exit gracefully. “It has been so nice to spend a few minutes getting
to know you, I hope you have a great spring.” smile graciously and just
move on.
exits  networking  howto  ice-breakers  JCK  conversations  serving_others  questions  grace  small_talk  Communicating_&_Connecting 
march 2011 by jerryking
Seven questions that managers should ask
March 29, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Harvey Schachter.

Do you miss opportunities that others spot?

Despite massive investments in information technology and sophisticated data systems, many companies miss market shifts that rivals sense and exploit. To continually identify gaps in the market, you need real-time data, the ability to share it in your company, and the wisdom to supplement that data with direct observations in the field. He notes that Spanish retailer Zara, known for its capability to respond speedily to market shifts, has its designers, marketing managers and buyers work side-by-side in an open office setting that stimulates sharing and discussion.

Are your hydraulics broken?

Organizational hydraulics, Prof. Sull explains, are the mechanisms that senior executives use to translate corporate objectives into aligned actions by individuals across the organization. But in many companies, top executives deluge staff members with multiple, often conflicting, priorities, and everything plugs up. Alex Behring, chief executive officer of Garantia Investment Bank in Brazil in the 1990s, set out to repair the deteriorated organizational hydraulics in a railway bought from the government through such measures as capping the number of corporate priorities at five per year and requiring every employee to meet and negotiate with his or her boss both team and individual priorities for the year, again limited to five.

Do you reward mediocrity and call it teamwork?

In many organizations, he says, executives socialize bonuses in the name of teamwork, believing that differential payouts can stifle co-operation and long-term thinking. Variable pay represents a small portion of overall compensation, with the range of bonuses narrow. He argues instead for rewarding individuals who do what they say they will with outsized bonuses.

Are your core values a joke?

The most agile organization that Prof. Sull studied shared a core set of values: strong achievement ethic; personal responsibility by all employees for results; creativity to challenge the status quo; and integrity, to offset the temptation to cut corners when taking on ambitious goals. "Rather than print posters listing the values that then languish on conference room walls, executives should breathe life into the corporate culture by hiring and promoting individuals on the basis of the adherence to values," he says, noting that Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer goods company, created a pre-screening tool that allows potential employees to assess their fit with the organization.

Are you talking about the wrong things?

Managers spend about three-quarters of their time in discussions, and need to be adept at four different types of conversations that facilitate execution: making sense of volatile situations; deciding what to do, not do, or stop doing [Sounds a lot like Peter Drucker] ; soliciting and monitoring commitments by others to deliver; and making corrections in mid-course. Beware of executives who excel at only one type of discussion, and struggle with or avoid the others.

Have your Vikings become farmers?

Effective executives are like Nordic Vikings, who attacked when they saw an unprotected spot, and retreated when they realized they couldn't win. Do some of your executives have that same instinct, or are they all like farmers, more interested in protecting and tilling their current fields?

Do you rely on heroic leadership?

The economic crisis forced many executives into firefighting mode but, over the long haul, you need leaders who can build up your organization's execution strength in a disciplined way. "Senior executives who dash from crisis to crisis are a sign of organizational weakness, not leadership strength," Prof. Sull warns.
Harvey_Schachter  IT  Donald_Sull  observations  questions  wisdom  conversations  sense-making  real-time  data  mediocrity  overlooked_opportunities  Peter_Drucker  missed_opportunities  long-haul  primary_field_research  core_values  Zara 
march 2010 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: How to lose an argument online
Posted by Seth Godin on November 23, 2009. Instead of arguing,
Seth advocates the following: "Earn a reputation. Have a conversation.
Ask questions. Describe possible outcomes of a point of view. Make
connections. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Align
objectives then describe a better outcome. Show up. Smile."
Seth_Godin  debates  howto  grace  reputation  conversations  questions  options  Communicating_&_Connecting  following_up  disagreements  argumentation  personal_branding 
december 2009 by jerryking
Ease the way to difficult conversations
Aug 21, 2009 | The Globe and Mail. pg. B.12 | by Wallace
Immen. What are the keys to delivering tough news effectively? There
are four steps in the process, according to Richard Gallagher, author of
How to Tell Anyone Anything, Breakthrough Techniques for Handling
Difficult Conversations at Work: (1) Start in the neutral zone; (2)
Acknowledge the person's point of view; (3) Find the biggest incentive
for change; (4) Make the listener part of the solution.
Communicating_&_Connecting  challenges  stressful  Wallace_Immen  howto  rules_of_the_game  workplaces  conversations  difficult_conversations 
november 2009 by jerryking
Rage against the routine
September 2007 | From PROFIT magazine | By Rick Spence

We could all use some creative renewal and time management makeover.
Take a different route to work each day. Take a night course in
marketing, design, art history, German, creative writing or the
Renaissance. Read Seth Godin’s blog (sethgodin.typepad.com) for a crash
course in the changing worlds of strategy and marketing, complete with
purple cows, big red fezzes and ideaviruses. Buy an iPod and ask friends
to share their music with you. Embrace quiet. Learn to see and listen
with heightened senses. Say “Tell me more” more often. And take time to
ask two questions: “Why?” and “Why not?”.
5_W’s  boredom  creative_renewal  conversations  creativity  ideaviruses  innovation  inspiration  novel  questions  quizzes  Rick_Spence  routines  Seth_Godin  time-management  timeouts 
april 2009 by jerryking
7 Tips for Difficult Conversations
March 11, 2009 | blogs.harvardbusiness.org| Daisy Wademan Dowling

Tags:Communication, Giving feedback, Managing people
Communicating_&_Connecting  providing_feedback  managing_people  conversations  problems  challenges  stressful  difficult_conversations  tips 
march 2009 by jerryking
Ask About the Art of Conversation in N.Y. - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com
February 9, 2009, NYT blog post by author Catherine Blyth solicting questions on the
the Art of Conversation in N.Y.
NYT  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations 
february 2009 by jerryking

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