How to take something from each conversation

Guest Blog by Margaret Owens

Each conversation you have in your lifetime is an opportunity to learn something new. In nature, there are no two identical creatures and that’s the beauty of diversity. Nobody knows all the stuff you do, just like you will never know everything any other person does. A human being should never stop learning regardless of their age. That might sound complicated, but in fact – it isn’t. We can really take something from each conversation only if we pay a little bit more attention to the people around us.

Be ready to listen

Listening and hearing are two different things. Hearing is something that we can do automatically, while listening requires our willingness to hear what other people are saying. Listening is a skill that can be more useful than any talent you are born with.

Be open-minded

Being open-minded means that you admit you don’t know it all, and that is a good starting point for each conversation. People have different backgrounds, different experiences and it only makes sense that their attitudes towards certain things are going to vary too. When you keep an open mind, you are more likely to understand others and learn from them.

You can learn something from every person

Being young or old, rich or poor, black or white – every single person can teach you something. But, you have to push past any initial judgment to be able to take something from each conversation. If you are convinced that the other person’s opinion is simply wrong, you will not be able to understand him/her.

Let’s take a look at the conversations a person usually has during one day and see what they can learn from the people they are in contact with.

Conversation with kids

First, there is family – the people we love most. Quite often we tend to take them for granted, but when there’s a problem, they are the first ones we can turn to. Our children can teach us so many things that we might have forgotten over time – their imagination reminds us that nothing is impossible. Some things are as simple as children see them, and sometimes, adults are incapable of perceiving that. Every time I see the smiling faces of my little boys when we talk about grandpa and grandma, bicycles, ice cream, cartoons, school friends, and their first loves I get reminded that happiness is in the little things.

Talking to our colleagues

Colleagues are the people we usually spend most of our day with. Similar interests or similar goals brought us where we are, even though we might have completely different backgrounds. Working as real estate agents, we are used to competing with each other, in things like who is going to be the one to buy a property for the first time in Florida or make the biggest sale of the month.

But, at the end of the day, we all get together and share our experiences. In conversation with older colleagues, we learn how they coped with various situations. They share with us their wisdom and experience. The younger ones tell us about the challenges they are facing, but they also introduce us to some novelties that can be helpful for our career, for instance – the current apps and tools for agents on the go

Chatting with friends

Unlike family and co-workers, friends are the people we have willingly chosen to be around. They should be the ones to understand us and know how to help us when we need it. Real friends go through thick and thin together, proving that true friendships do last forever. On Fridays, my four best friends and I gather after work and discuss each other’s weeks. We share advice about kids, husbands, wives, parents. We learn from each other’s mistakes too. There’s always room for some gossips and I think that is important. When we have a conversation about a third person, we learn about each other’s attitudes towards something that does not affect us personally.

Can we learn from our acquaintances?

We can learn a lot from conversations with acquaintances as well. Sometimes, the words we hear from a random person can really touch us and make us get a different perspective on something. I remember once being in a gym and meeting this amazing female trainer who helped me introduce many healthy habits. We had a rule that every time we work out together we need to exchange a recipe for a healthy meal or promise each other to try some new ingredient we have never used before. I still go to the same gym and share ideas with the same trainer.

Hobbies are great for meeting people who have different professions yet similar interests as you do. Quite often new friendships and even business deals are made after a game of tennis, painting, dancing classes. Remember, the key to learning something from every person we meet and every conversation we have with them is to be a keen observer and an active participant.

A bit more on conversations

A conversation is a two-way street, so every time we talk, there are at least two of us driving. We choose our directions, speed, and final destination. That means that you can choose where the conversation is going and you are responsible for your part in it. In order to take something from each conversation, you need to be able to give – give your attention, trust, and support.

Conclusion

If you know how to listen to other people, you can really take something from each conversation. Remember to never stop learning and always strive to be the best version of yourself.

Author’s bio

Margaret Owens is a part-time real estate agent and a freelance blogger. She enjoys writing on the topics related to real estate, as well as workplace dynamics. Margaret is also an avid gardener and the best bowler in her family.

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2 Replies to “How to take something from each conversation”

  1. Cynthia, I always enjoyed your classes and I admire you for all you do and specially for all the free advise you always have for fellow realtors.

    Thank you and stay well during these uncertain times.

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