Mastering the Art of Collaborating, Creating, and Building Trust with Others – in Business and in Life
by Chuck Wisner
Why Conscious Conversations?
Day in and day out we talk to ourselves and others in a sea of conversations. From our first days in the crib to our first job, we innocently adopt the perspectives of our culture and family. What we absorb generates unique (fingerprint-like) patterns of thinking and talking. Through these, we embrace stories of right and wrong, and good and evil forming strong opinions about everything: power, morals, family, friendship, religion, education, sex, politics, and money. These conversational fingerprints underlie the emotions we feel, the stories we tell, the opinions we defend, the truth and lies we speak, and the relationships we have. Our natural patterns of talking and listening are so comfortable that they effortlessly run on auto-pilot. Our M.O is serving us well when conversations with kids, parents, friends or bosses go smoothly and our emotions run high, positive, confident, and joyful. But when our conversations take a turn and fill us with frustration, confusion, or fear, we are often at a loss for words, not knowing how to talk about things that matter. "How could he have said that to her?" "What on earth did I do to make her so mad?" "I guess we won't ever bring that subject up again!" When things get hot, our choices seem limited. We can pretend that all is okay and suffer the outcome, or sidestep the person or subject. We can avoid confrontation, or react emotionally and find ourselves in battle. Unfortunately, all of these options come with negative emotional and physical consequences.
Conscious Conversations offers readers a better way. The tools and practices in this book (previously unassembled for the public) serve as a guide for navigating any conversation humbly, compassionately effectively, and successfully. Rather than allow our deeply-held, unexamined beliefs and conversational patterns to set us up for failure and repeated frustrations, we can become more conscious of our internal dialogues, our choice of words, our interactions, and their intended and unintended consequences.
The book focuses on four fundamental and distinct types of conversations: Stories, Perspectives, Possibilities, and Commitments. Each one offers its own set of different, yet, complimentary insights, building a road map for comprehending and changing how and why we communicate - whether it be with family, friends, colleagues, bosses, or strangers. I often hear clients say, "Why wasn't I taught these tools in school?"
The work of mastering the art of conversation takes curiosity and courage. The reader can discover a new voice - minimizing conflict, maximizing collaboration, creating new possibilities, and generating wiser decisions.
Better conversations equal a better life.
The reader will learn to:
Identify, understand, and undo disruptive emotional triggers
Transform cobwebs of thought into quiet wisdom
Listen openly and absorb opposing perspectives
Use facts and persuasive opinions to influence others
Ask significant questions and encourage collaboration
Make promises and build trusting relationships