A recent blog post on the HBR Daily Alert caught my eye, the title of which was “It’s time for a slow conversation.” We are huge proponents of Thoughtful Leadership™ – taking the time to reflect, assess, and lead with more intention, purpose, and thought. So the idea of a “slow conversation” really spoke to me.

The author, Anthony K. Tjan, shares how despite all of the tremendous benefits and value of our increased technological connectivity, one drawback to our digitally connected world is the dilution of “the quality and relevance of our conversations.” Tjan offers three insightful resolutions for breaking the super-connected habits so many of us have:

  • Focus on being present in the moment, not recording it
  • Focus on creating a new moment worth commenting on, not commenting on someone else’s
  • Face real issues and real priorities with real conversations

To put Tjan’s resolutions into action and break away from the digital whirlwind, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Ban the use of devices during mealtimes, especially at home – and hold each other accountable
  • Cut off the email chain and have a live conversation to resolve the matter
  • Walk out of your office several times a day and talk to someone you don’t know or do not know very well
  • When you are face-to-face with someone, truly, actively listen
  • Dust off your long-forgotten ideas and big dreams you have put on hold, and get moving toward them
  • Use your commuting time to begin to decelerate, disconnect, and transition toward being fully present with your family, friends, and loved ones at home
  • Handwrite a few thank you notes each week

Being thoughtful, being present, focusing on the quality of our interactions not the quantity (do we really need 4,076 Facebook friends?), and spending a little time looking into the faces of those we are connecting with. That will help us to slow down and put our relationships back in the center of our communications.

What commitments can you make to get back to real, “slow” conversations?
Please leave a comment to share.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in creating better relationships, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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