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Friday, June 10, 2011

The Art of Conversation

I wish that I had taken a different path in my education. Although I love Sociology and Anthropology and landed a successful position in Sales and Marketing- I do believe that my strength and interest truly both lie in the Mental Health Field. I wish that I were a licensed therapist, pychiatrist or something along those lines.

I have always been a "therapist" to my friends- This has been ongoing since I was in elementary school and continues to this day. It's not only to my friends but in fact- former colleagues, friends, acquaintances, babysitters, workers around my house, complete strangers, as well as ex-boyfriends and more. I think this makes my point very clear. I contribute this to the fact that not only do I listen- I tend to give advice that is constructive to the person as opposed to finding fault in the situation or person in which they are dealing with. If the problem needs to be addressed or initiated I always say the following.

"It is all in the presentation."

While this a very basic statement, it is riddled with important messages. While I believe that this is a quote that I have personally coined- Im not sure if that statement is accurate and if anyone has any history on this- I would love to hear it as I think it is a brilliant and productive statement. Regardless of the origin it exemplifies how I have addressed every situation and relationship in my life. It has been incredibly successful in all of my interactions. I do believe that I have changed the manner in which some of my friends communicate. They have put this into practice and with effort have transformed the communication amongst the relationships that they hold dear to them.

No one likes to be judged, labeled or criticized and in fact an immediate response to either one will likely result in either anger or retreat. If you don't express yourself correctly the opportunity for discussion diminishes on the spot. Progress will not be made and in fact more often than not- any reference to the subject that was not presented properly will continue to trigger the same response going forward.

I believe the art of conversation is a well oiled machine. The ability to encourage free flowing expression will only exist if there is an environment that is free of judgement. No one will express their true self if they have a fear of not being accepted or feel they will be attacked. The manner of delivery is crucial and most people do not realize the affect that a negative approach can have on their audience. The damage is done immediately and right on the spot.

If you have an awkward topic that need be addressed or there is sensitivy surrounding a topic- it must be handled accordingly. If you want to make progress you have to supress your excitement and emotion. You have to create an environment that is calm and soothing. An environment free of judgement is crucial and you can't chime in at every opportunity. Allow pockets of silence as some of the most meaningful changes in relationships occur without words.

Im an extremely passionate, enthusiastic and honest person. My natural reaction and approach to life is with vigor and expression. It takes great effort and continued practice to not pounce when Im stirred in either a positive or negative way. My instinct is to react- Im Italian and Im not shy so I have no issue with discussion. My Mother in fact always encouraged me to speak up. I heard this message so often in my youth and would find it odd coming from a woman who was very quiet. This became ingrained in me rather quickly and I have always had the confidence of expression.

You can accomplish so much with restraint and patience. Nurture your relationships and give them space to grow. Relax in your delivery and reaction and you will see immediate results. It really is in the presentation of your words and you will be amazed at the wonderful response. It takes practice but you will slowly change the manner in which you communicate and the reward will be incredible. I could go on forever on this topic but Im hoping that I have made my point clear. If you need addition advice on this- Im happy to discuss it further and would enjoy hearing the result of your actions. I promise you that it will make a difference and you will enjoy the delight and progress of a truly open and honest conversation. It is all in the presentation.

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