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Both professional and personal relationships depend on conversations. Having honest and worthy conversations is what enables us to find common ground and engage with each other despite alternate perspectives and ideologies. Regardless of who you are or what you do, the ability to converse matters because it makes all the difference. However, people seem not to listen but talk all the time. Have people started to resist difficult conversations that deal with important topics? Digital communication teaches us to share ideas that conform to public or popular opinions, but it doesn’t really prompt us to place ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Bridging Disparate Perceptions

First, conversation matters in various ways. It matters economically, as leaders who are excellent communicators often outperform poor communicators. Also, poor conversational skills undermine the sense of commonality because it causes people to suffer from cognitive bias. Setting aside stereotypes and biases is necessary for having an honest conversation.

To bridge disparate perceptions, people need to converse while being able to set their ego aside. The goal is to listen, as well as to give and take, and not lecture during difficult conversations. Don’t critique the person but the ideas in order to keep conflicts impersonal. Focus on finding solutions; try to learn from people you disagree with and acknowledge their perceptions. This will encourage an atmosphere of understanding.

When people’s expectations don’t align with reality, they feel frustrated. What lays the foundation for a satisfying experience is knowing what you want to achieve and conveying your expectations to your conversation partner. It requires focus, while text alerts and other distractions raise your stress hormones and cut down on your ability to converse meaningfully.

Stop Exercising Old Conversational Bad Habits

For example, interrupting others while they speak is a bad conversational habit that doesn’t find its place in worthy conversations. Old and bad conversational habits should be stopped, and people should always reflect on what they hear before they reply.

It also happens that people overestimate their communication skills. Intelligent people often avoid asking others for help or admitting they don’t know something while prioritizing logic over emotion. Tell your conversation partner that you misunderstood something and ask for clarification. Don’t assume you know what happened but ask for their perspective.

Improve Your Communication Skills

Today, communication is in crisis. Always look to limit your focus when in a conversation to one or two main ideas; keep it short and sweet. If your conversation partner doesn’t understand, help by asking questions that encourage them to get to the point. Avoid repeating yourself because it comes across as annoying in a conversation. Ask open-minded questions to encourage longer replies and an opportunity for understanding.

If you cannot engage in a meaningful conversation (perhaps you’re stressed or tired), save it for another time. When conversing, stay in the moment. All it takes is a 5-minute meditation each day to practice mindfulness. Instead of letting your mind roam when people speak to you and ruin the conversation, be sure to listen to them. People love talking about themselves, and by listening, you can get a deeper understanding and be a better coworker or friend.

When giving a response, respond compassionately. When you don’t know the answer to something, admit it because it will make you aware of your weakness and help others trust you. Don’t pull attention from others onto yourself in a conversation.

HR leaders should encourage deeper dialogue among their team members by ensuring a diversity of ideas is always welcomed in the workplace. The emphasis should be on active listening and non-judgmental critiques. To create a more welcoming and productive culture in the office, emphasize the approach of listening twice as much as you talk.

Having meaningful conversations in the workplace brings many advantages. If you find encouraging deeper dialogue between employees to be challenging, I would be happy to help. Feel free to book a few minutes to discuss.

Book an appointment with me at, or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734