Have you ever experienced a conversation where you can’t get a word in edgewise? When I’ve been on the receiving end of one, it has felt like someone turned on the hose in the person speaking and its full force is directed at me! It doesn’t feel good. Seems to me this is like “direct current or DC” electricity where power flows in one direction.
It would seem that AC, alternating current, is better, yes?
Well – that depends. If alternating current sounds like this:
A: Let me tell you about my trip to Hawaii…
B: I went to the Bahamas …
A: My favorite island in Hawaii is Maui …
B: Let me tell you how fantastic the food is in the Bahamas …
This kind of AC conversation is really more like two alternating DC currents!
While there are many different communication styles, I’d like to share just two more here:
- DC in the form of “two ears, no waiting” – Sometimes, a person needs to talk and just be heard. They need your ears, not your advice or feedback or wisdom.
- AC as a precious exchange of thoughts and ideas – This is conversation where the participants are truly interested in deepening their understanding of the topic being discussed and the other person’s relationship to the topic.
I leave you with an invitation to become aware of AC/DC communication in you and those around you.
Is this conversation healthy?
What style am I experiencing?
What style am I using?
What is called for now?