Each Conversation Stands Alone

Tue, Mar 30, 2021 2-minute read

Each Conversation Stands Alone
I’m a terrible person.

I look at people’s historical actions, problems, and trends to help me decide if I want to engage in a conversation, negotiation, or generally deal with someone. I thought this was the best way to understand how to communicate and work with people.

I’m not saying understanding people’s history, problems, and trends are not helpful. Understanding allows adjusting your communicating style, and to have a shared history.

I’m saying, each conversation needs to be handled as a standalone without worrying about the past.

Letting the past issues, emotions, and problems burden the current conversation keeps us grounded in how things were, the person we and they were then, instead of the people we are now.

Whether by choice or by force, we are changing every day and our circumstances change. Meeting the same group of people in a meeting tomorrow means we’ll be meeting the same people in different circumstances - things may have changed at home, something happened on the way to the office, a bad text message, or a million other things.

My challenge has been to take each conversation and situation on it is own, and not look at history to decide if I want to engage in a conversation.

I have found treating each situation as a standalone set of circumstances opened up conversations I would have avoided before, and has given me the opportunity to be open.