The Secret To More Meaningful Conversations

meaningful conversations

When it comes to meaningful conversations, you want to start by laying the groundwork for openness. Openness with respect to the person you are inside. Openness with regards to this sacred opportunity for communicating with another human being so that they are willing to share their innermost fears and concerns with you. 

My suggestion for you here is to put aside the thought that you know what you know and start any (meaningful) conversations with what is called a beginner´s mind.

In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind, there are few. ~ Shunryu Suzuki 

Let me share a wonderful story about beginner's mind that I heard from Dr. Bradford Brown back in the early 1980s. It had to do with a religious leader representing an Eastern religion and a professor who was writing about all the religions of the world. The professor had something like six masters ́ degrees, five PhDs and I don't know how many certifications and other designations. In other words, he was a very learned and busy man.  

As the story goes, the professor rushed into an appointment he ́d made with the religious leader saying, “Sir, I want to be sure to get down everything you want to say about your religion and document it here in my comprehensive account of all the religions of the world. I’ve got about 45 minutes, can you please tell me all about your religion?” 

The religious leader looked at him for a moment, and then asked, “Would you like some tea?” 

Shaking his head, the professor replied, “That's very kind of you but I ́m afraid I am very busy and I really want to get all of this down. So, no. Thank you.” 

Wise Words Worth Hearing

Still, the religious leader handed him an empty tea cup which the professor accepted with a short, “Well, OK.” At that point, the religious leader began pouring tea into the cup. And he continued pouring tea even as it flowed over the rim of the cup and down onto the ground. 

Jumping back, the professor exclaimed: “What are you doing?! Stop! The cup is over full.” To which the religious leader replied, “Yes, and your cup is over full as well. Come to me when your cup is empty.” 

As beginners, we have such a thirst to learn and an amazing depth of curiosity to guide us. It's exciting to be a beginner! And as an expert coach and consultant you can use that innate curiosity to learn all you can about  each and every one of our coachees. 

Clarity Is The Basis For  Meaningful Conversations

The clearer you can be within yourself, with yourself and about yourself, the easier it will be for you to communicate with others. 

In short, always strive for inner clarity and choose your higher purpose out of that. 

Ask yourself: 

What is my higher purpose for this specific interaction with this uniquely, wonderful human being?

Look inside yourself and breathe deeply. Find the clarity you need.  Above all, tap into that glorious beginner’s mind we ́ve been talking about as you decide on the kind of meaningful conversations you are intent on having.


About the Author William Holt

William Holt is the go-to coach and trainer for executives & professionals wanting to transition to coaching as a way of sharing their professional expertise with the world. He is also an international speaker, author and the creator of the revolutionary Holt Coaching Certification Method.

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