Talk to Me Like You Talk to Meg
By Ed Uszynski
Amy and I are in Phase 3 while driving home after a get-together with co-workers.
(Phase 1: Predicting what will happen at the party. Phase 2: What happens at the party. Phase 3: Analyzing what happened at the party.)
So I ask her for thoughts. She says, “I wish you’d talk to me like you talk to Meg.”
Meg and I have known each other for years and work closely together. There’s nothing inappropriate between us. This is not at all where I expected Phase 3 to start.
Me: “What do you mean?”
Amy: “You ask her questions.”
Me: “I ask you questions all the time!”
Amy: “You do. But you help her unpack her mind. You ask her a question, then you ask her follow-up questions. You ask me one question and then go silent.”
Yep, and I’m silent now.
Scrambling—“There’s nothing between us.” Feeling a little defensive—“That’s what my job demands!” Frustrated—“Is that really true”?
“I know there’s nothing between you. I know it’s the nature of your job. I just need you to do for me what you’re doing for everybody else.”
Guilty as charged.
And it wasn’t just Meg. I work hard at listening well and trying to understand my co-workers of both genders every day, often to the point of exhaustion.
Then I come home and give Amy the trickle from a nearly empty tank.
She wasn’t angry. Wasn’t accusing me of anything. Wasn’t trying to make me feel bad.
She just saw what she needed from her husband being given to everyone but her and wanted that to change.
Proverbs 20:5 says, “The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.”
A nice reputation to have at work, but even better at home.
The Good Stuff: The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. (Proverbs 18:4)
Action Points: Are you using up your conversational energy elsewhere? How can you commit to reserving some of that energy for your most important human relationship?
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