Interesting vs. Useful Conversations

How many conversations do you have each day? It's likely more than you think. Short, long, personal and professional conversations come in many types and have many different objectives.

For coaches, conversations are a tool; structured, focused and designed to drive results. However, coaches aren't alone in this regard. Many of your conversations have specific desired outcomes. Maybe when speaking to a loved one you are trying to express how much you value and appreciate them. At work, your conversations are likely focused on driving a specific goal - maybe a sale or obtaining the necessary information to move a project forward.

How many of the conversations you have are useful to you, compared to just being interesting?

Interesting conversations are fun. They can be entertaining, but beyond that, they don't contribute towards meeting your professional and personal goals.

Useful conversations are also fun. However, importantly they help you move towards your goals.

When trying to understand which kind of conversation you are having, it is helpful to understand some of the attributes of useful conversations:

  • Both parties know why they are talking.
  • You both know what you want from the conversation.
  • You use a conversation structure that works in service of that goal.

The Challenge

So this week here is what you need to do. Don't attempt to change anything specific about the conversations you are having - just attempt to label the conversation as either interesting or useful.

Post your results in the comments or hit me up on twitter (@fwdmedia) with how you get on.

Next week we'll look into our scores, see how we are doing and start to consider some tactics that might lead to more powerful and useful conversations.

Good luck!