Conversation spaces

In Making Conversation, Fred Dust talks about how the physical spaces our conversations inhabit can affect their content and direction. Think of how conversations go around your dining table, for instance: what makes these conversations different from the conversations you have on your living room couch, or on your bed? Or at work – how differently do you approach conversations that happen at your desk, versus those that happen at your boss's desk, or a meeting room (or at the cafeteria)?

How different are your expectations on the conversation based on where it is taking place? Alternately, when you want to have a certain kid of conversation, what are your expectations on where it will happen? I find that my conversations with my kid, for instance, are more lively and vibrant around the kitchen table, more subdued and personal in my study, and calm and non-confrontational in his bedroom. I wouldn't usually have conversations about his negative feelings in the kitchen, but rather have them in his bedroom where he feels safe and secure – or in the car, where the seating is less confrontational (not face-to-face) so it's easier to open up.

A quick and dirty way to figure out if the place your conversation is happening in matches the kind of conversation you want to have: think about 3-5 adjectives that describe the conversation you want to have, and about as many adjectives for the place it is happening in. If the two sets of adjectives have significant overlap, it is likely that you chose the right place to have the conversation in.

This isn't something I've ever actually paid active attention to, but I think it's an interesting idea worth pursuing.

#self #productivity #leadership