I’m in London today running a workshop on Managing Difficult Conversations with Boyes Turner. Conversations are a critically important part of my work and I’m intrigued to see how the day pans out. One of the reasons why people find certain types of conversation difficult is that we’ve simply fallen out of the conversation habit. Modern work relies heavily on email, and whilst email currently has a place for exchanging information, as the following figures* show, it doesn’t serve us well as a conversational medium, at least not if we want to be clearly understood.
When you’re busy and your inbox light is winking seductively at you – it might feel tempting to resort to a hasty note and a quick press on the send button, particularly if the subject matter looks a little…awkward? But if you want to prevent awkward becoming difficult and difficult becoming even worse, why not pin this little chart on the wall as a reminder that when you want to be understood, it’s good to talk.
* Source: Profs. Justin Kruger of New York University and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago