We recently visited our son and his family in the lakeside town of Kirkland, Washington. The highlight of my trip was our dinner conversation. Each night our 3 year old grandson would ask each person, “What was your favorite part of the day?” This toddler’s simple question would trigger within each of us, our “best” memories of the day. This 3 year old’s question moved us to meaningful and uplifting dialogue.
With the Holiday’s on the horizon that means more family and friend time. Whether it’s a dinner time conversation with family or a chat with a friend over a cup of coffee, meaningful conversation can be the difference between happiness and unhappiness in a relationship.” 1 In a study 2 involving more than 20,000 recorded conversations researchers found the happiest participants were those who had genuine and deep talks.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me. I want my conversations to enhance my relationships.
Let’s discover a few ways you can encourage positive, uplifting, and meaningful conversations within your family or friend circle.
- No side chats
- Make this a conversation for all. You’ll have time later to have that one to one.
- No gossip or complaining.
- Positive conversation please.
- If you disagree, discuss the idea don’t attack the person.
- It’s ok to have differing opinions and ideas. Listen to the other’s point of view. Share your’s as well. Stay on topic and never stray to attacking the other person
–Get Rid of small talk. Use these conversation starters.
- Run, don’t walk to your favorite grocery store and pick up MardiGras Napkins. Take the time to view this video Trust me, these will be on your shopping list next week! 3
- Play your favorite board game – trade off letting each person choose his or her favorite.
- Write a short note “love” note to each family member. Wrap the note around their utensils at the dinner table.
- On a plain paper napkin write or draw a question on each napkin, such as:
- You can take an adventure anywhere, where would you go?
- If today you grew 5 feet taller what would you see?
- Describe your own outdoor park, what would be included?
- When asking questions, make them open ended questions beginning with Who, Where, What, How and Why.
- What did you see today that made you smile?
- Who made you laugh or cry today?
- How would you design your dream school/work day?
What better day than today to get started with those meaningful conversations to enhance your relationships. I’m going to start with the “love” note. How will you begin?