conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Dummy’s Guide to Conversation #5: Sit With It

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Go trolling with your decision.

Despite the passive image, it’s an active decision-making strategy powered by talk. And it has everything to do with the people you mix with every day.

Here’s how it works: You are vexed by some perplexing question. Some potential fork in the road. Let’s say the stakes are high so the choice is even harder. This question takes up residence in your mind. You don’t know what to do or which direction to take. With no decision forthcoming, you watch pieces of your life go on hold, each waiting for the choice.

So you force a choice. You make your best guess, but you leave time—if possible—to rethink your choice. You shoulder the mantle of owning the decision and taking it with you out into your work and your relationships and even into the casual acquaintances that pop up. And you just watch and see how it feels. This is how you sit with a decision.

Sit with it and watch. You are making a choice and trying it on for size. This is not done in isolation. It happens in conversation. With our words we explain what we’ve chosen to do. Amazingly, it is as we form words and explain what we’ve chosen that we come to grips with the full dimensions of this choice. People respond: “Yes. That’s perfect for you.” Or “Hmmm. That doesn’t seem like you.” Casual acquaintances hear the slimmest snippet of the choice in story form and ask a question that reinforces the decision. Or not.

It’s as if we need to listen to our own words to see how we feel about something. Sitting with a decision means hearing yourself form and reform the story in ways unique to each audience you encounter.

This strategy works for all sorts of things—not just decisions. Relationships. New ways of looking at things. Learning. Sitting with a notion is a way of collecting wisdom from others as you make life choices.


Image Credit: leonid tishkov via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

November 7, 2011 at 5:00 am

One Response

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  1. […] I speculated that generating more aha’s starts with a dance of definition (DGtC #4) and moves to sitting with the question (DGtC #5). Both the dance and the sitting force the troubling question or decision toward the […]

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