(This post is probably only going to be ironic to me seeing as I have temporarily lost my voice due to some weirdo cold where my throat doesn't hurt but I cough like a 60 year-old smoker...fun times.)
I attended a workshop last night that I had been looking forward to for quite some time. Last year, I joined a professional community of mentors based on the work of Bruce Wellman. You can see my earlier post about it here, although I should warn you...it's not my best work! Just a passing mention of a few professional books.
The workshop last night was actually a book talk for a text called Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time by Susan Scott. I have been wanting to get my hands on it since I first learned about it and one of my favourite people in the teaching world read this passage to a group of gathered teachers...
Our lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time. While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a business, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation can. The conversation is the relationship.
I love the idea behind this quote. If you think over the course of your life thus far you must have a millions upon millions of conversations and how many of them changed your life? The news of the death of a loved one? The announcement of a pregnancy? A proposal?
The main idea behind this book is about being present for each and very conversation we have and being prepared to participate fully in it. There are 7 principles outlined in the book, and I won't go into all of them, but at the book talk last night we each chose part of the book to read and then share our thoughts with the group as a whole. I read the sectioned titled "Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting". It was al about taking the time to pause during a conversation and really think about what others are saying. A few points really stuck out to me...
"...the more emotionally loaded a subject, the more silence is required..." (page 223)
"...the space between thoughts is where insight can make itself known..." (page 227)
I am very excited to get more into this book and try some of the principles out during the conversations I have with my husband, my students and my co-workers. The idea of having really meaningful, important and fulfilling conversations is just fabulous. I think too often we are too busy getting on with life to really live, to slow down and have a great conversation with someone we love, that we adore, that we once hung on their every word. I want to get back to that place.