People don’t converse any more, generally, unless it is for work, business, on TV or in political forums. But one on one conversing seems to have disappeared. So what do we have in its place? Well, people pretend to agree, acquiesce or obsequiously smile. Even nod and can even say yes when they mean no, but still not share their converse opinion one on one.
That is what conversation is. Not chit chat, small talk or gossip but con-ver-sation, as in “conversely speaking” or “on the converse”.
So where has the conversing gone? Heck when I point out what conversing is really for they look at me dumbfounded as though I was speaking a different language.
I think that we have collectively spent so long in this non-conversing state that if/when this conversing takes place it ends up much more in conflict, as an argument or as a fight than an actual conversation. Most seem to be out of practice and have forgotten the rules or more so have never learned them in the first place.
How long has this been going on?
This is what “conversation” means to me.
If true, it is no wonder there are so many failed marriages, conflict with work mates, and generally no relationship that I have ever aspired to emulate, save one. Without a forum to air grievances or add constructive criticisms without the fear of the situation escalating, abuse becomes a real possibility to most people I think.
“Does my bum look big in this?” Is the joke that everyone in a relationship can identify with, especially us blokes. Most men, I believe, live in perpetual fear of saying the “wrong” thing. All jokes aside, feedback today, is not only disagreed with but the individual can be punished for delivering it.
It is no wonder that conversation is lost with feedback making up such an important half of conversation.
How can we disagree with feedback? Of course logically we can’t disagree with its content as it is only someone else’s thought on our thought or action. What we can disagree with is the delivery. This is basically the premise that the concept of Rethink Perfect rests on. That if we could agree upon this and had the tools to help filter the feedback delivery from the content, we could possibly find ourselves listening to well delivered content of feedback that could represent the pure thought of another person. This could change life as we know it.
You see her question is a trap and she knows it. She didn’t ask him what he thinks, which would have been an easier question to answer. She asked him a general question or what the world would think of her bum. By answering “yes” then of course he is going to be in trouble because his feedback content and delivery is flawed. I bet you agree with me on his fate. But real issues arise because he can get in “trouble” in the first place. He is not a six year old boy that stole six pence. He contributed his flawed feedback and this should be first and foremost be appreciated.
So, what is it that made his delivery flawed? Well as mentioned I do not believe that we can disagree with his content as it is only his opion but his delivery was flawed because he did not emphasise this. i.e. “I think it does look big” or “to me it looks big” ( I can’t help but snigger as I write this) Even if he had of answered ‘no” it would still have been flawed feedback in the delivery and he would possibly suffer for this answer too, some time later.
I think that if we can learn to understand this principle of splitting up feedback into content and delivery, and not disagree or agree with the content but only return our feedback on their delivery, some very interesting results could be achieved in conversation. The conversing treasure, that has been lost for so long, could return.