3 Pillars of Conversation

Photo by: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Here are 3 pillars to build a conversation on:

  1. Listen. This should be obvious, but it is worth saying because it’s so important. Beyond setting down our phones, we need to be mentally present. And here’s an idea: rather than thinking of what we want to say next, try thinking of follow up questions to help the other person unpack some of the points they made.
  2. Be curious. Genuine curiosity is a really amazing quality in a conversation partner. I believe there is something we can learn from everyone. This doesn’t necessarily mean we endorse what the other person is saying if it’s something we disagree with, but we can better understand their point of view. If we go into a conversation with this mentality, curiosity naturally follows.
  3. Show respect. The purpose of a conversation is not to prove that we are right. We should also understand that we’re unlikely to change the other person’s mind about a contentious issue. Instead, ask questions and give the other person respect -- even if we disagree.

Side note: There’s a theme of the 3 Pillars above: humility. If we make the conversation about the other person and show them that we are interested in what they have to say, our conversations can go so much deeper and we can build better relationships.