The lost art of conversation

by | May 28, 2024 | Latest Post | 0 comments

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Anything will grow rusty and fade away without practice and discipline and this applies to conversation with our fellow human beings as well as playing the piano or writing a bike.

For some years now I have been associated with Ecademy started by Thomas and Penny Power, https://www.pennypower.co.uk/. Penny writes her ponderings every week and on this one occasion I have taken the liberty of reproducing whilst encouraging people to have a look at Academy to see whether this group of business people is worth joining.

My own thoughts on conversation is as follows:

Sharing does not come naturally to us (though gossip does) and we keep ourselves to ourselves as we would say ‘ every man’s home is his castle’ certainly in the UK. We tend to carry that forward to our psychology as well. We often do not say what we think for a number of reasons:

# we do not want to offend anybody or ‘give offense’  as it is called,
# we don’t want to be misunderstood in case our words come out the wrong way,
# we do not want to step out of line,
# we do not want to lose a friend
# we do not want to be laughed at
# we do not want to be seen as an ignoramus
# we not want to be seen as vulnerable

So what are we left with? At the end of a conversation or event we mumble something to the host such as ‘thank you very much for inviting me, that was great, see you again’. These pleasantries are a complete waste of time as they communicate no useful information.

As penny has implied in her excellent article we have also lost the art of listening. Very few people listen because they have so much noise in them they are incapable of it but this is the one quality that would really distinguish us from others.  It does not require great intelligence or knowledge but just a simple caring for others

I would like to see more testimonies. Testimonies do not have to be long or formal; they can be just a sentence for example

‘ I was a bit nervous coming to your party but I met Bob and we had a most useful conversation about our subject of common interest and you made this possible’ the heart yearns above all else to feel useful and we would automatically raise the vibration and tenure of our communication with people if we could be honest with them even if it includes things that could be considered as critical.

I can and do converse with anyone anywhere in public. In the car park at Tesco’s this morning I noticed a woman checking her pockets to make sure she had everything and I turned around and said to her ‘I recognize you in me and I do the same thing even if I just checked it shortly before’. She said to me gratefully ‘ I thought I was the only one’ .

So in that moment of attention to other people I may have lightened the burden on somebody perhaps without being aware of it. That is what our life should be 24/7 I believe. If we don’t speak to them with words maybe we address them on the astral plain, who knows.


Penny writes:

We live in a world of short-cuts and productivity. Seeking ways to make our life easier, but ironically, we are making it harder. Results happen in life when we spend time to think, consider, and show intention in our activities.

This is my ponder to you this week, how can we all carve time for deeper conversations and time for one another.

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering my keynote ‘The Human Touch in a Digital World’, to

My talk was the closing speech, and our mission was to encourage everyone to consider the people they are communicating with, whether clients, suppliers, colleagues or even everyone we meet in everyday life.

My message is all about how ‘digital tech’ has connected us for productivity but disconnected us emotionally, and it is easy to track this trend. Having been in technology for 40 years, it was evidential in 2009, social media began to infiltrate all our lives deeply, and conversation turned to broadcast, Productivity Apps started to emerge, and efficiency became addictive. In January 2010, Apple announced that 3 billion apps had been downloaded in the 18 months following the launch of the AppStore.

“How many tasks can I complete today?”, is one of the early morning routines for most of us. Tasks consume us, they run our lives.

I speak from the heart when I deliver my talks, I share at the beginning, that no one needs to write down anything, no one needs to remember anything from my talk, as all I am doing is reminding our souls that we need connection and love, we need to feel significant and to have opportunities to contribute to others in our way, and seek to receive it also.

25 years ago, when we had just started to build Ecademy, a social network for business owners that spread across the world like wildfire, warming hundreds of thousands of people, Thomas was given this phrase “conversations create transactions’. The opportunity to create conversations with random, super people were abundant. We all loved doing it. This is how we learned new information, shared stories, connected deeply, built trust, saw the opportunities for business. This is how we felt seen and heard.

This is how we secured our future, building a reputation that had depth.In addition to this shift from conversation to broadcast, was the ability to hold a level of confidence and credibility in your expertise that was not impacted by the truth of what was happening in your life. Now we see people holding an identity, an illusion of self, that creates barriers to conversations.

Online we appear so successful and without the need for any assistance. Alongside the growth in tools that isolate us, are the growth in mental health challenges. Loneliness is made up of many deep pains, gathered over time, a feeling of ‘does anyone really care that I exist’.

The birth of the lone wolf was at this time, each of us believing that technology was our closest friend. Technology was who we spent most time with, our keyboard replaced the hug and the handshake – the human touch.

After our talk, many people stayed back to talk to me, some willing to miss their trains, many with tears in their eyes. The dawning of a reality that we have each forgotten. (this is what distinguishes a special speaker, as opposed to a run of the mill speaker – Ed.)

Loneliness is now called a Pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation, stating that loneliness shortens life, equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What is life without the emotions of human interaction.

So this week, seek out some time in your diary to have a deep conversation with someone new. Be brave enough to share a truth in your life. Experience the joy of deeply listening, learn to ask deeper questions, show someone that they are significant to you, and you are grateful to know them.

Enjoy the beauty of ‘the human touch’, it is all about human emotion, it doesn’t have to be in person, believe me, I am deeply connected, with my heart. To many people that I don’t get to physically see. Digital does not have to divide us. It can connect us emotionally as well as for all the efficiency reasons we seek.

Have a fantastic week, sending our love and gratitude to you for reading my words and allowing me to connect with you. Please also remember that Thomas and I believe deeply in the power of community for your business and are always interested to talk about what BIP100 can achieve for you.

With love

Penny Power MBE

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