Different Types of Conversations: Casual, Intentful, and Difficult Conversations
Learn how to have different types of conversations that can affect your well-being.
Earlier we reflected on our social life and who we spent time with. The strength of your relationships relies on the ability to communicate. So that means it affects your well-being. Isn’t that so? It’s funny that there are very few courses on communication. I like to break down communication into three types: intentful, difficult, and casual conversations.
Before digging in, keep in mind these principles from my blog post Feedback like a Buddha. These all can be used in different types of conversations.
- Understand Your Purpose: Appreciation, Coaching, or Evaluation
- Personal & Relationship Lens: Your perspective vs. what does the relationship need
- Curiosity and Understanding: Openness to your partner, Intention, What’s Missing?
- Know Your Triggers: Truth (Is it True?) Relationship (Existing issues), Identity (Is your identity at risk?)
- Know Your Stress Response: Flight, Fight, Freeze. To combat these, detach from emotion from the conversation.
Let’s start with a casual conversations. We think casual conversations are innocuous, but that’s often when you actually offend people the most! So let’s be more mindful when we meet acquaintances. In an earlier post, we discussed Connecting Authentically with Great Conversation.
In our breakout rooms, we can try one of the following exercises:
Quickly create meaningful conversations by directing the conversation to a “We” pattern. This can be used with a QAS pattern.
- You ask a question: “What drink is that?”
- The person answers: “It’s a Moscow Mule. I love it!”
- The statement you give depends on their answer.
If a positive sentiment (loving Moscow Mules), create a situation involving “we”. “We should have a Moscow Mule party!”
If a negative sentiment (I’m not a fan of this Moscow Mule), create a situation involving “me” indicating empathy with the girl. “Yeah, I’ve ordered bad drinks before. It’s such a let down”
In an Intentful conversation, there are four pillars: Truthfulness, helpfulness, kindness, and clear intention. Try to listen and speak 50% of the time. Do NOT try to fix their problems, just listen. Let them fix it, don’t be a fixer. Use short voice acknowledgments to let them know you are listening. “I hear you,” or “I understand,” “It is a difficult time.” Try to have a good body posture that mirrors them. Most importantly, infuse empathy into your speech with these terms.
- In your view
- The way you see it
- In your experience
- I’m sensing why you are feeling that
- Oh I can feel you are hurt
- It sounds like
- I hear you say
- I’m sensing
- That sounds hard
- You went and did…is that right?
Let’s practice this. One person will describe a difficult circumstance, relationship, or conversation they’ve had. The other will practice an empathy response. You will, in fact, feel better about your conversation. This would increase your well-being.
The last conversations are difficult conversations. In this one, your body actions are just as important as what you say. Position yourself facing the person and show intent and concern. In our exercise, we’ll practice the WHAC method. What it is? How it makes you feel without blaming them? Ask them to stop? Confirm they agree.
Let’s practice this in your breakout group.
Thank you for reading different types of conversations. You can see that your Ultimate Well-Being is impacted by how you speak.