28 June 2016

Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation

"There is no reason to learn how to show you're paying attention if you are in fact paying attention."

Instead of trying to show you are paying attention, Headlee suggests these 10 steps to have deeper, more interesting conversations:

  1. Do not multitask. If you do not want to have a conversation, then get out of the conversation.
  2. Do not pontificate. "Write a blog instead," she proclaims. Go into the conversation assuming you have something to learn. [Daniel's thought: If you have nothing to learn, why are you wasting your time talking?]
  3. Ask open ended questions.[Daniel's thought: But not too opened. "Tell me a bit about yourself" is terrible because it is overwhelming in its enormity. Try something more manageable such as, "What are a few highlights of your life is the past couple of years?"]
  4. Go with the flow. Let thoughts come into your mind then flow right on out. Otherwise you will likely miss some really interesting stories.
  5. Admit when you do not know.
  6. Do not equate your experience with theirs, no matter how similar your experience has been.
  7. Try to not repeat yourself, including rephrasing. [Daniel's thought: This is fairly difficult, especially when opinions are being thrown around; but people do sound pretty dumb when they just keep saying the same thing over and again.]
  8. Stay out of the weeds. Details like dates and names, unless critical to the story, just detract from the focus.
  9. Listen. Headlee quotes Calvin Coolidge, "No man ever listened his way out of a job." If you are not listening, then "you're just two people shouting barely related sentences," she quipped.
  10. Be brief.

Celeste Headlee: 10 ways to have a better conversation

23 June 2016

Yann Dall'Aglio: Love — you're doing it wrong

Dall'Aglio talks about our "hysterical need to be valued" aka 'loved'. He traces the roots of this need to the progression of Western society over the past several centuries: the rationalization of science research, political democratization and rationalization of economics. In the process we have transitioned from a culture of being told our value by our societal status (noble lineage and such) to a culture where our value is dependent upon our merit.

While this allows any one to be high or low value, it also puts intrinsic stress of each individual to determine how they will create sufficient value to satisfy their need to be loved. This need to be be loved is an expression of our desire to be desired. His ultimate conclusion: those who need to be desired do not value themselves enough.