It has been five months since my father passed away. He was 84 years old and had Alzheimer’s. I talked to him every day on the phone as we lived 1,000 miles apart.
I awoke last night with a feeling of emptiness and realized, “I miss talking to my dad!”.
My conversations with Dad were about nothing and everything at the same time (sounds like a Seinfeld episode). We spoke about everything that really mattered, that is. After small talk about the weather, we would talk about personal, family, business pursuits and life. Dad was always full of encouragement and wisdom.
He mastered the art of conversation and engagement. He could talk to any stranger and make them feel like a best friend. In addition to making you feel special, he added to the conversation a perspective or story to deepen the meaning and the moment.
In our last couple of years together, his condition required us to depend less on our shared experiences like boating or holiday rituals and more on our conversations. We made memories with our conversations.
This shift made me reflect. What is the quality of my conversations? If I was gone from someone’s life, would anyone miss talking with me?
So, ask yourself:
- What is the quality of interactions with my spouse, family, colleagues or employees?
- Am I engaging and encouraging?
- Do my words really matter?
Then, challenge yourself today to:
- Pick up the phone and have a conversation with a loved one instead of sending a text.
- Reflect on your conversations and take one intentional step to make them more meaningful.
We use a simple coaching model that is outlined in our new book. It includes the habits of: explain, ask, involve and appreciate. You can start by applying these steps to your conversations.
Enjoy a memorable conversation today!