“It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.” – Muriel Spark
Daily Nugget of Gold 1479
A Double Take
Usually we talk of “doing a double-take” when we are referring to something we’ve observed that takes us by surprise. We aren’t quite sure we’re seeing what we’re seeing or hearing what we’re hearing so we check again just to make sure we got it right. We aren’t really talking about that (Naturally! You may interject…) but what we are talking about is a frame of mind in which we might wish to be as we’re conversing. We suppose it may be more aptly called a “double-check” but we think the mental attitude we should want to adopt while speaking with another might better be thought of performance art rather than routine behavior.
Why would we want to think of our conversations as something we are performing in, like a play or a movie? That’s a good question. You see, it’s an attitudinal difference. If we are merely conversing, that’s where we aren’t measuring what we’re doing but rather just dumping words out in an effort to tell people how we ‘really feel’. If we are measuring and metering our words and gestures, we could be better monitors of the emotional flow and comprehension level of the effect our words are having.
Even after we started talking about a particular subject, we could be more open to the particular twists and turns the conversation might take, whether we’ve decided to adjust our part of the conversation or if the other person takes us into an unexpected direction. The idea here is to be less ego-driven and more inviting in hearing the other person out.
The double take comes when we are really, really intent on getting our point across with someone and we suddenly realize that our point might be meaningless to them. We then want to think for a moment about what our goal truly is, do we wish to have our way in a conversational sense just to get the words out there, or do we wish to persuade them in some way? If we wish to persuade them, is it for our benefit or their benefit? If we think “both”, are we really being truthful about that?
Performing is more work than just doing. Performing means we care about the quality and reach of what we say. Just blurting out what is on our mind might seem to be easy way out, but it ends up creating more work later on in trying to repair the damage we do when we just wantonly say whatever comes to mind.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What can I do today to become better at communication?”
Copyright 2015 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.