Talk Big

From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I read a great book – Every Conversation Counts by Riaz Meghji – and I was struck by his story telling and the great reminders about the power of conversation in building relationships and learning for life.

Meghji offers five strategies: Listen without distractions, make big talk, set aside perfection, be assertively empathetic, and make the other person feel famous. What I super-love is that these strategies are for everyday conversation; he offered examples from his world of interviewing people for television.

Two of Meghji’s strategies gave me some pause for thought, the first being about making the most of a conversation by making the “big” talk, beyond pleasantries or chit chat as it were, to ask an impactful question. It takes bravery and a healthy dose of vulnerability to do this. But what if we did go beyond ‘How are you’ or ‘Is it hot enough for you?’ to dip our conversational toes into, ‘What has been the most impactful part of your week?’, ‘What is the most important conversation you have had today?’ or ‘What do you need to talk over with someone today?’

The author’s second suggestion that I love is to make the other person feel famous. With this he stresses holding space for the other person, taking an interest in who they are, and sincerely being grateful for the time and talent they share with you.

In the rush of complex problems and very heavy workloads there is so much richness to be gained in being just a little more purposeful with the conversations that we have. Any conversation can lead to a great connection and something wonderful.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

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