Just Ask

My work as a coach involves a lot of listening.
Much, much more listening than talking.
This is as it should be.
Listening is good.
The rest of my life, however, should be filled
with more balanced conversation.
Two-way conversation.
A delightful dance of conversation.
I ask you about your job; you ask about my job.
I ask about your family, your weekend plans,
who does your hair, which farmer’s market you frequent.
You respond in kind.
This is not necessarily the case.
Very often I find myself held hostage
by someone else’s interpretation of a conversation.
I tell you everything about me; I ask nothing about you.
My friend, Julia Gorelik (fulfillingfuture.com),
who is also a coach and,
I have to believe, a very good one,
offered this solution.
When you’ve heard enough, simply ask
“What would you like to know about me?”
or “What questions can I answer for you?”
Even if “Nothing. I would like to keep talking,
thank you.”
is the honest to God answer,
I doubt I will hear that.
Instead, It’s a gentle pointing
that gets the conversation back on track
without making the other person wrong.
No harm. No foul.
No monologue.

Details, Details.

I Need a Manifesto