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July 18, 2007

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Christopher Richards

I have a perspective on how the culture we were educated in plays an important role in conversation style. I lived the first half of my life in England, and the second half here in America. What passes for conversation here is usually just a series of monologues. Your perspective is that a conversation is getting a message out. That “con” part of the conversation is “with.” It’s a back and forth. It’s dynamic, not a series of static positions.

Just asking questions and listening to the answers, and then moving on to the next question is missing the point of conversation. Do we learn conversation in school? No. Do we learn to be disagreeable in a civilized way? No. I am not confusing debate and conversation. Conversation is an art. It isn’t a series of dogmatic opinions. A good conversationalist is an interesting person. Think of conversation as theater. A conversation can amuse and inform.

The worst thing a conversation can be is boring. Michele de Montaigne (b. 1533) said, “…agreement in an altogether tiresome constituent of conversation.” He was French.

Conversation can be based on not knowing; a groping for understanding. It can dig deep into unknown territory. But when challenge our assumptions; we can actually learn something new.

Selling is a conversation.

Daniel Sitter, Idea Seller

Thank you Christopher, for your well-thought-out perspective. You certainly have a point; What so often lacks in effective communications is that you have two parties spouting monologues! There often is no real listening. Each is really only interested in expressing his point of view.

I like the first line in your latest post, "Asking the right questions and listening to the answers is at the heart of my business." Well put. It should be at the heart of mine and everyone's too. That's the core of real communication.

I agree that selling is a conversation. You may also be interested in reading my recent post, "Sales, Marketing and Conversations," found at:

http://ideaseller.typepad.com/idea_sellers/2007/07/sales-marketing.html

I have linked to your blog. I hope many others will look at your work!

Christopher Richards

Daniel,

Thanks much. I subscribed to your feed.

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