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How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

How to Create More Meaningful Conversations

As an expert at building rapport with people, I help others create meaningful connection to those that are important to them. Meaningful conversation is a strategy to establish that connection.  So let’s dive into this topic and I will share with you some of the most effective techniques and tips that have proven success.

Big insight:  It’s not really what you say as much as what you feel (and how you make someone feel) in your conversation with them that creates the meaning.

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Here are 8 practical tips to create more meaningful conversation:

1.  Be real:

I always say this to people and am often shocked why they don’t know what I mean.  Just because you are in a certain environment doesn’t always mean you have to communicate in the way the “rules” of that environment dictate.  Every conversation is a connection no matter where you are.  Being real means talking to people with your sleeves up, letting them in and sometimes being a bit more vulnerable (or open to their vulnerability) than you are used to.  This creates an instant connection.

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2.  Always validate:

This is so important when you are communicating with someone and you want to create more meaningful conversation.  Remember, people want to feel heard.  Before you say something, acknowledge everything a person says and receive it.  Not necessarily that you agree with what they said, but that you are taking it in and letting them know it is received, instead of resisted.

3.  Meet people where they are:

You can always steer a conversation later but first appeal to where someone is in the moment.  If you want to create more meaning in your connection, be a bit more flexible in your approach at first.

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4.  Take people on a journey:

Want to know what makes movies, songs and stories meaningful?  It’s the journey.  It’s not always a direct route to where you want to go.  Be open to a process in your conversation.  Take people on a journey with you and be curious about theirs.

5.  Link commonalities:

Every talking point can be an opportunity for you to create meaning by learning that they have similar experiences or sharing with someone a part of you that is like them.  Be careful that you don’t create a tit for tat situation here.   The goal is to establish you are like each other, not to compare your stories with theirs.

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6.  Know your outcome:

That outcome should be to create a connection before any agenda.  Make your life easier by creating strong connections with more meaning so that you don’t have to work so hard to get where you want to go.  Relationships are everything.  Your outcome and your focus are narrowed to this one thing.  It makes everything else easier.

7.  Make people feel special:

You always want to make someone feel like they are different and they are special to you—in some way.  It’s as simple as that.  Share something with them, ask about an experience they are having and praise or comfort them.  This will take you a long way in someone’s heart.

8.  Create transparency in your conversation and be clear:

Always let someone know where you stand.  People respect you more when they know who you are.  When you clarify, people will let their guard down.  When people let their guard down, they are more open to connect to you and then you will both create more meaning in your experience.

Did you relate to this?   Use these techniques in your own life and see what happens.  I would love to hear from you!

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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