The Question to Ask
The question to ask. You know someone who grabs the conversational ball and runs with it every time you get together, don’t you? You two get together and before much talk-time passes, you know exactly what has happened in their life, and how they feel about it, and what they plan to do about it. And on and on and on. Now, this person might be interesting, intelligent, even insightful. And yet … you walk away from that interaction feeling vaguely (or maybe very) unsatisfied. It feels like something was missing in the conversation. That something was you, wasn’t it? We learned as kids, most of us, to take turns when we played. That same turn-taking happens now, or it should anyway, as we adults engage in the activity of conversation. And it’s clear that some people haven’t quite absorbed that childhood lesson. Over-talking, monologuing, monopolizing the conversation … it’s common. And it’s especially a problem when it comes to business. Conversational turn-taking is a system.