Two types of conversations

Last fall, I had the pleasure of taking Heather Plett's online course "The Art of Holding Space".


In it, Heather shared how her friend and psychologist Jo Ann Unger says there are two kinds of conversations: listening ones and problem solving ones. Unger "encourages people, particularly couples or parents of teenagers to assume all conversations are listening ones unless someone asks for your advice or your wisdom."


It got me thinking. The same is likely true of stories. There are two types: telling ones and asking ones.


The first, is the Horton-Hears-a-Who kind when we need to have our voice heard; to make meaning; to move through something; to get a feeling out.


In the second - the asking one - we share our story and then ask for help.


We trust our story with someone who hopefully listens without judgment and provides advice without attachment.


Of course, it's always up to the storyteller to take the help offered or not. Even when they asked for it.


What is true for the storyteller and listener is there needs to be vulnerability, bravery and little kindness.


That's where we find connection.



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