All tagged communication

Ian and Margaret’s conversation tips

If it involves someone close, you may have to just shut up and listen and not get cut up because they don’t show any interest in anything that is important to you. Just continue to invest love into the other person. It will come back to you one day. We reap what we sow. More wise words from the Work Manual: Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27 ESV)

Let the music come out of you

Let the music come out of you - I’ve come to identify the moment or moments in conversations where I have a choice to make a call in my head. I can keep on track and not tell myself my sad story in SILENCE or dump on the one I love and drag her into the ‘poor-me club’, or go the other way to ANGER (yell back louder). No, I refuse to go into my sad story. I make the choice and call. I’m not going down that path ’cause I will miss out on the gold of this important conversation. If I want the best conversation, it’s up to me. Just think: If I’m going to dump on Margaret, that’s going to make her anxious and can knock her down emotionally. I can turn her away from me without even knowing it. That’s crazy!

Safe conversations

One of my closest mates and I have been practising being safe in conversations, usually with heat and tension, for over 50 years. We’ve proven time and again that we never go past the safe place, because our mateship is the most important thing we want to maintain at all times. Our differences of opinion regarding politics and footy teams open up our world to see a bigger and brighter future. We learn plenty from each other. It’s not often that people change their core beliefs – but we can certainly see the big picture with what we learn from each other if we both can listen.

Learning to play conversation tennis

Learning to play conversation tennis - Our defences of silence or anger come out when we don’t feel safe. What’s the solution? If you’ve ever had a go at tennis, you know what it means to have a good old rally back and forwards over the net. How many shots could you get up to in the rally? Rallies work best when both players return the ball over the net in a manner that keeps the rally going. We get to play some nice little shots, a few relaxed backhands, a few overheads, and a few lobs and we never try to put the other bloke off. In fact, we try to keep the rally going, keeping him on the court returning the ball. One or the other eventually wins the point but only after we’ve both had the best rallies backwards and forwards.

When conversations go wrong…

When conversations go wrong… Usually, when we get lost in a conversation and it goes belly-up, we go down the drain one of two ways. We say to ourselves, ‘Poor me, I don’t deserve this, I’ll shut down and get back at the other person by giving them the SILENT treatment.’ I’ve been on the receiving end of that treatment many times from different people. It’s very frustrating being on the receiving end of that treatment, especially if you’re a person who’s learned to ‘have it out’. The other way we can go is into some form of ANGER. We raise our voice, thump the table, get red in the face, the blood pressure goes up, fold our arms, yell louder and lose it. I’ve also been on the giving and receiving end of that treatment many times during discussions on contentious subjects. I’m sure that you, too, have experienced both. You quite often find that the person who loses it has other big stuff on their mind and this blow-up moment is just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Stop listening to the wrong people

Stop listening to the wrong people Being a typical Aussie bloke, at the beginning I would keep my talks with the Bloke Upstairs very private – just between him and me. I felt like I would be seen as ‘wussy’ to actually be talking publicly about God, especially as a truckie.

Be an aggressive listener

Be an aggressive listener When I talk about an ‘aggressive listener’, I don’t mean someone who’s angry! It’s a bloke who’s ready to work hard to make sure he really hears what the other person is saying. He keeps eye and heart contact, and has a single focus.